McConnell Hasn’t Set Date to Vote on Shelton’s Fed Nomination

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hasn’t committed to a timetable for a vote on President Donald Trump’s controversial nomination of Judy Shelton to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.

“We’re taking a look at that nomination, and we’ll let you know when we’re in a position to move forward with it,” McConnell said when asked about Shelton’s nomination Tuesday during an interview with CNBC.

Shelton, who has previously endorsed a return to a gold standard for currency and expressed other controversial views about the role of the Fed, is opposed by two Senate Republicans: Mitt Romney of Utah and Susan Collins of Maine. Two more GOP defections would likely doom her nomination, given expected party-line opposition from Democrats.

Trump’s other nominee, Christopher Waller, has bipartisan support so his confirmation is all but assured.

One key senator, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, a retiring Republican who has sometimes bucked Trump, said he wants to wait until Congress acts on a virus relief package before weighing whether to back Shelton.

Alexander “has been spending almost all of his time working on the ‘Safely Back to School and Back to Work Act’ dealing with COVID-19,” William Heartsill, a spokesman for the senator, said Tuesday. “When the Senate finishes its work on the virus legislation, he will study carefully the records of Ms. Shelton and Mr. Waller.”

Alaska Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski is also still vetting Shelton’s nomination, Karina Borger, a spokeswoman for the senator, said in an email.

Although McConnell hasn’t scheduled a floor vote on the nominees, but it’s possible it could come before lawmakers leave town for their August break. But a significant chunk of time over the next two weeks will be devoted to negotiating a compromise coronavirus relief package.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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