Shelton bid for seat on Fed Board stalls after Senate vote – for now

Confirmation of a controversial nominee to the Federal Reserve Board was blocked Tuesday by the Senate after the nominee could not achieve the bare number of votes.

However, the vote could be brought up again since the Senate majority leader joined in voting “no” for the nomination – action preserving his right to bring it to the floor again.

The Senate failed to cut off debate on the nomination of Judy Shelton to a seat on the board of the central bank on a vote of 47-50. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) joined those voting no. His vote was procedural in order to allow him to bring up the nomination again, although that vote has not yet been scheduled.

President Donald Trump formally nominated Shelton, an economist and consultant, to the board in January. In July, the Senate Banking Committee recommended her to the full Senate for confirmation on a 13-12, strictly party-line vote.

Shelton has drawn controversy and some criticism for her past views about reinstituting the gold standard, questioning the effectiveness of federal deposit insurance, and the Fed’s independence from political influence.

Meanwhile, a confirmation vote on another Fed Board nominee, Christopher Waller, has not yet been scheduled in the Senate. Waller has not generated a similar level of controversy that Shelton has; he was recommended for confirmation by the Banking Committee on a vote of 18-7.