One nomination for Fed seat moves forward, while another may be floundering

The nomination of Christopher Waller to be a member of the Federal Reserve Board moved forward in the Senate late Monday, with a confirmation vote likely to come later in the week, according to press reports.

Meanwhile, the nomination of Judy Shelton to another seat on the central bank’s board may be struggling to continue.

Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) filed a motion to cut off debate on Waller’s nomination by President Donald Trump to one of two open seats on the Fed Board. The nomination was sent to the Senate in late January.

However, Waller – a non-controversial selection who is now executive vice president/director of research for the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (he was recommended for confirmation by the Senate Banking Committee on a vote of 18-7)  – was paired in his nomination with that of Judy Shelton for the other seat on the central bank’s board. Shelton has received a cool reception in the Senate, particularly among Democrats, for her past comments about bringing back the gold standard, questioning the effectiveness of federal deposit insurance, and the Fed’s independence from political influence.

At one point during the nomination process, the White House indicated that the nominations of Shelton and Waller must be considered by the Senate in tandem. However, last month, Shelton’s nomination came before the Senate – where it failed to earn enough votes to cut off debate and force a final vote on her nomination.

News reports Tuesday indicated that future consideration of Shelton’s nomination in the Senate was unclear – no vote was scheduled for Tuesday (or Wednesday). Further, Democrats get another vote on the Senate floor Wednesday after Mark Kelly (Ariz.) is sworn in. All Democrats, so far, have opposed Shelton’s nomination.

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