Senate panel planning to approve stalled Fed nominee Shelton

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The Senate Banking Committee is preparing to approve the stalled nomination of Judy Shelton to be a member of the Federal Reserve Board next week, according to two Republicans familiar with the planning.

A formal announcement of a committee vote has not been made, and a committee spokeswoman declined to comment Tuesday. The names of Shelton and another Fed nominee, Christopher Waller, were not on the committee’s calendar for consideration next week. Action by the panel would send the nomination to the floor for a confirmation vote by the GOP-controlled Senate.

Fed nominee Judy Shelton
Judy Shelton

President Donald Trump’s nomination of Shelton for the Fed had been held up by reservations among some senators over her views on monetary policy. In the past she has advocated returning the dollar to the gold standard and expressed skepticism about the relevance of the Fed’s congressional mandate to pursue maximum employment and stable prices.

In February, shortly before the COVID-19 crisis put the Senate into a prolonged recess, Alabama Senator Richard Shelby, a GOP Banking Committee member, told reporters he wouldn’t stand in the way of the nomination.

“If the committee, the majority of the committee, I’m talking about Republicans, want to support her, I would do it too,” Shelby said, adding, “She wouldn’t be my number one choice.”

Republican Committee member Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania had also been undecided on the nomination, saying he was concerned about her past comments indicating she supports the Federal Reserve devaluing the dollar in response to devaluations of other currencies. In February, he said that a letter from Shelton cleared up his concerns.

Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana remains undecided on the Shelton nomination, according to spokesperson Jess Andrews. A single Republican “no” on the panel would be enough to block her, with Democrats on the panel likely united in opposition.

Bloomberg News