Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) has announced his opposition to one of President Donald Trump’s latest nominees for the Federal Reserve Board, Judy Shelton. Her nomination has already cleared the Senate Banking Committee, and it’s next slated to come up for a vote by the full Senate, so other Republican Senators would have to join Romney in opposing Shelton in order to block her confirmation. She has been controversial for stances like her support of tying the value of the U.S. dollar to gold and issues that the Senate Banking Committee’s top Democrat, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, characterized as “objections to Fed independence.”
Romney was one of four Republican senators who doomed Herman Cain's potential Fed nomination and has an, uh, strained, relationship with Trump, so this isn't stunning. But it goes to show that this isn't going to be easy for Shelton
— Sylvan Lane (@SylvanLane) July 23, 2020
On Thursday, Romney said:
‘I’m not going to be endorsing Judy’s Shelton’s nomination to the Fed. I will be voting against her.’
Shelton is a real gold-bug crank, so Romney is right. https://t.co/z51DAtj4Eh
— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) July 23, 2020
Although this time around, Romney is the first sitting Republican Senator to announce that he’d be voting against Shelton, there’s actually a precedent for Senate Republicans blocking a Trump pick for the Federal Reserve Board. In 2019, Trump planned to nominate businessman and former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain to the Federal Reserve Board, but Romney was one of four Republican Senators who announced their opposition to the planned nomination.
Cain did not have previous experience in public policy. As for problems that are present with Shelton’s nomination. Sen. Brown said:
‘Her flip-flopping, policy beliefs, and objections to Fed independence worry conservative and liberal economists alike — and as recently as February, it worried some of my Republican colleagues. Dr. Shelton may not be able to imagine an economic crisis like the one we are in today, but I certainly can imagine how much worse it would be if she were on the Federal Reserve Board right now.’
Shelton initially appeared before the Senate Banking Committee all the way back in February, before the Coronavirus pandemic-associated economic crisis emerged. Senate Democrats had called for her to be brought back for more questioning in light of the currently unfolding crisis, but the Republican majority on the committee apparently pushed back on that call and approved her nomination on Tuesday. The economic crisis associated with the pandemic has been major — for the first time since the early days of the pandemic, the total number of new unemployment claims across the U.S. rose last week compared to the preceding week. Last week, the total hit 1.4 million.
New state unemployment claims rose last week for the first time since early in the pandemic, to over 1.4 million, amid new fears of a downturn https://t.co/LtnEmrjOcW
— The New York Times (@nytimes) July 23, 2020