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Republicans failed to muster enough votes to break a filibuster and take Shelton’s nomination to the next step, with the vote tally coming out to 47-50.
It is possible that there could be a re-vote, though it’s unclear whether her candidacy has the necessary support to advance. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, who had initially voted for the nominee, switched to vote against her, giving him the procedural right to bring her up for another vote in the near future.
In a statement on Twitter, White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere said the White House “fully supports” Shelton and remains confident that she will be confirmed.
As noted by The Wall Street Journal, the vote was expected to be close due to several GOP absences on Capitol Hill.
Her confirmation was also controversial due to a number of her opinions.
Shelton, a conservative economics commentator, is opposed by Senate Democrats, most economists, and many former Fed officials for her past support of the gold standard and for writings that questioned the Fed’s political independence. Under the gold standard, the U.S. dollar’s value is tied to gold. Under that approach, the Fed has had less leeway to adjust interest rates, even in a severe recession. President Richard Nixon untethered the dollar from the gold standard in 1971.
Shelton was approved by the Senate Finance Committee on a 13-12 party-line vote in July. Senate Democrats criticized her for appearing to flip-flop on many positions, including near-zero interest rates. She opposed ultra-low rates during President Barack Obama’s presidency but supported them after President Donald Trump took office and demanded that the Fed lower its short-term benchmark rate.
The Fed’s seven-member board has two vacancies.
Fox News’ Chad Pergram and The Associated Press contributed to this report.