Judy Shelton, President Donald Trump’s contentious pick for the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors, cleared a key hurdle to confirmation by winning the approval of a majority on the Senate Banking Committee.
She was backed in a party-line vote Tuesday, 13-12. The committee also voted in favor of Fed nominee Christopher Waller, currently director of research at the St. Louis Fed. His nomination passed 18-7.
Shelton, who has drawn controversy for her unorthodox views on monetary policy, could still fall short before the full Senate where four Republican defections could block her confirmation. Utah’s Mitt Romney has said he has “concerns” about the nomination.
If Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is confident he has 50 Republican votes in hand, he has the power to call a vote before the Senate recesses for its August break.
Some Shelton critics have warned that Trump might elevate her to replace Jerome Powell when his term ends in 2022. That’s assuming the president wins re-election in November and is unhappy with his current Fed chair, whom he’s recently praised after years of harsh criticism for too-tight policy.
Committee chair Mike Crapo, Republican of Idaho, said Shelton had affirmed in writing that she believed in the independence of the Federal Reserve and that diverse views were important at the central bank.