Former Fed staffers urge U.S. Senate to reject Shelton nomination

A group of former Federal Reserve staffers, including economists, lawyers and bank presidents, sent a letter to U.S. senators Thursday asking them to reject the nomination of Judy Shelton, one of President Donald Trump’s picks for the Federal Reserve Board.

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The Fed alumni said Shelton, who has advocated for a return to the gold standard and questioned the need for the central bank, has "a decades-long record of writings and statements that call into question her fitness for a spot on the Fed's Board of Governors." The letter was signed by 38 former Fed staffers, including two former Fed bank presidents.

"The Fed has serious work ahead of it," the former Fed staffers wrote  "While we applaud the Board having a diversity of viewpoints represented at its table, Ms. Shelton's views are so extreme and ill-considered as to be an unnecessary distraction from the tasks at hand."

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The Senate Banking Committee confirmed Shelton's nomination last month with a 13-12 party-line vote, despite a rocky confirmation hearing in mid-February, when several senators expressed concerns about placing the longtime Fed critic in a role that would give her a say on U.S. monetary policy.

Shelton's nomination must now be approved by the full Senate, where the deciding votes may come from a handful of moderate Republicans.

Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah have both said they would vote against Shelton's nomination. Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee said in late July that he would "study carefully the records" for Shelton and Christopher Waller, Trump's other nominee to the Fed board, after the Senate finishes working on virus legislation.

At least four Republicans would need to vote against Shelton to sink the nomination.

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