Senate Republicans could not marshal enough votes on Tuesday to advance the nomination of Judy Shelton to the Federal Reserve board, throwing Shelton’s candidacy into further doubt.
Senators Rick Scott (R., Fla.) and Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) missed the vote because they were quarantining after possible exposure to coronavirus, while Lamar Alexander (R., Tenn.) was absent due to a family matter, the Wall Street Journal reported. Alexander as well as Mitt Romney (R., Utah) and Susan Collins (R., Maine) have all opposed Shelton’s nomination, and with five Republicans missing in total, the caucus was not able to advance Shelton.
Shelton has advocated a return to the gold standard and has a record of support for high interest rates and 0 percent inflation. The nomination has raised eyebrows among some Republicans.
“Nobody wants anybody on the Federal Reserve that has a fatal attraction to nutty ideas,” Senator John Kennedy (R., La.) said after a hearing with Shelton in February. “Now, I’m not saying that’s the case here, but that was sort of the dialectic going on.”
Politicians on both sides of the aisle have also worried that Shelton has over the past year tweaked her remarks on policy to be more in line with those of President Trump. The president favors low interest rates and does not appear to worry about inflation levels.
“Ms. Shelton has shown herself to be an economic weather vane, pointing whichever direction she believes the partisan winds are blowing,” Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) said after the Tuesday hearing. Schumer has warned that all Senate Democrats will oppose Shelton’s nomination.