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Key Republicans still undecided on Shelton's Fed nomination

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Three key Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee said Monday that they remain undecided on President Donald Trump's nomination of Judy Shelton to the Federal Reserve Board.

"She doesn't have my vote yet," Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby said as lawmakers returned to Washington from a break.

Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana said he's still reviewing Shelton's work, trying to determine where she stands on policy issues regarding the Fed.

"I'm just trying to understand what her position is," he said. "It's changed pretty dramatically."

Judy Shelton, President Trump's nominee for governor of the Federal Reserve, speaks during a Senate Banking Committee confirmation hearing in Washington on Feb. 13, 2020.
Judy Shelton, President Trump's nominee for governor of the Federal Reserve, speaks during a Senate Banking Committee confirmation hearing in Washington on Feb. 13, 2020.

Sen. Pat Toomey, a Pennsylvania Republican and another member of the Banking Committee, is also undecided, according to his office.

A single Republican "no" vote on the panel would be enough to block Shelton's nomination, assuming Democrats — who were pointed in their criticism of her at an earlier hearing — are united in opposition. A vote on her nomination hasn't been scheduled.

Shelton, a former economic adviser to Trump's presidential campaign, is a controversial pick because she has advocated returning the dollar to the gold standard and said she was "highly skeptical" that the Fed's congressional mandate to pursue maximum employment and stable prices was relevant.

Shelby has cited the gold standard comments as a reason for his concern.

Toomey said during Shelton's confirmation hearing that he was specifically concerned about her comments indicating she supports the Federal Reserve devaluing the dollar in response to devaluations of other currencies. He said, in contrast, that an argument could be made for linking the dollar to a metric that includes precious metals.

Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, the senior Democrat on the Banking Committee, said he didn't think Shelton's nomination would advance.

"There's plenty of Republicans who are having real doubts," he said.

Bloomberg News