Nov. 18 (UPI) — The Senate on Tuesday voted against advancing the nomination of Judy Shelton to a seat on the Federal Reserve’s board of governors.
Senators voted 50-47 against advancing the process by limiting debate. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell changed his vote to “no” after it became apparent the measure would not succeed, allowing him to preserve the right to bring up the nomination again.
Republican Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah, Susan Collins of Maine and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee have opposed Shelton’s nomination and two others, Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Sen. Rick Scott of Florida were absent during Tuesday’s vote as they quarantined following exposure to COVID-19.
Grassley later announced he was diagnosed with COVID-19.
Shelton’s path to a seat on the Fed board is also likely to become more difficult as Sen.-elect Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., could take the place of Sen. Martha McSally, R.-Ariz., as soon as Nov. 30 and the Senate is not scheduled to meet next week due to the Thanksgiving holiday.
“We remain confident that Judy Shelton will be confirmed upon reconsideration,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said he voted in favor of advancing Shelton’s nomination because he believes the Fed “plays too much of a role” shaping the nation’s economy.
“I believe Judy Shelton shares my belief that relying on the Federal Reserve to boost asset prices is no substitute for a strong American economy,” he said.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., criticized Shelton as “an economic weathervane, pointing whichever direction she believes the partisan winds are blowing.”
Shelton formerly served as the economic adviser to President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
During her nominee hearing in February, she faced criticism for her past writings on the gold standard and foreign exchange.