Waller nomination to Fed Board squeaks through Senate, 48-47

Christopher Waller’s nomination to the Federal Reserve Board was confirmed in the Senate Thursday by the sparest of margins, with senators voting 48-47 to approve the president’s pick to fill the unexpired term of Sarah Bloom Raskin.

Waller’s Fed Board term will last through January 2030.

President Donald Trump nominated Waller to the Fed Board seat in January. His nomination was approved by the Senate Banking Committee in July, with the committee members voting 18-7 to advance it. Thursday’s Senate vote on confirmation was along party lines, except for the one “nay” vote by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).

Waller is currently executive vice president and director of research for the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. He holds a Ph.D. from Washington State University and has, among other things, taught economics at the University of Notre Dame, University of Kentucky, and Indiana University.

Another of the president’s nominations to the Fed Board – that of Judy Shelton – appears to have gone as far as it can. Last month, her nomination, cleared by Senate Banking on a straight party-line vote, failed to garner enough support in the Senate to proceed.

The president had paired the two nominations, but Shelton 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. Her nomination was advanced by the Senate Banking Committee on a straight party-line vote.

Waller’s addition will leave the Fed Board with six members and one remaining vacancy.