President Donald Trump again nominated Judy Shelton to the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors in a last-minute attempt to fill its only vacant seat before he leaves office.
Trump renewed Shelton’s nomination Sunday, the first day of the 117th Congress. She was originally nominated in 2019, but failed to be confirmed by the Senate in December.
Her failed nomination came after retiring Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander announced his opposition to her confirmation and Sens. Chuck Grassley and Rick Scott were quarantining after being exposed to the coronavirus.
Alexander has since been succeeded by Sen. Bill Haggerty, meaning that if Georgia Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler win their runoffs, Shelton could have enough support to be confirmed before President-elect Joe Biden takes office on Jan. 20.
Republicans currently hold a 51-48 edge in the Senate, since Perdue’s term technically expired on Jan. 3. Sens. Susan Collins and Mitt Romney also announced their opposition to Shelton’s bid, meaning that without both Perdue and Loeffler’s support, she would have the support of only 49 senators, one shy of the 50 votes necessary if every Democrat opposes her nomination, as they did in December.
Shelton, a former Trump campaign advisor, came under scrutiny for her unorthodox positions, including favoring a return to the gold standard and questioning whether the Federal Reserve was a necessary institution. She also advocated for high interest rates before abruptly reversing course to mirror Trump’s own preference once she was tapped to fill the Fed vacancy, Bloomberg reported.
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