Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) on July 27 announced that she will vote against the confirmation of Judy Shelton, President Donald Trump’s nominee for the board of the Federal Reserve.
Collins is the second Republican senator to declare opposition after Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said last week that he won’t be voting for Shelton.
“I have serious concerns about this nomination. In her past statements, Ms. Shelton has openly called for the Federal Reserve to be less independent of the political branches, and has even questioned the need for a central bank,” Collins said in a statement emailed to The Epoch Times.
“This is not the right signal to send, particularly in the midst of the pandemic, and for that reason, I intend to vote against her nomination if it reaches the floor.”
Republicans hold a 53-47 majority in the Senate, meaning that Shelton cannot afford to lose the votes of two more Republicans if the Democrats all vote against her.
Trump announced his intent to nominate Shelton in July last year. The Senate Banking Committee advanced her nomination to the full Senate on a party-line vote last week.
Like Trump, Shelton had previously advocated a return to the gold standard. She has also doubted the necessity of a Fed entirely independent of the White House.
Romney, the only Republican senator to vote in favor of impeaching Trump, announced his opposition shortly after the banking committee voted in favor of Shelton.
“I’m not going to be endorsing Judy’s Shelton’s nomination to the Fed,” Romney said. “I will be voting against her.”
Beginning in July 2018, President Donald Trump began to repeatedly criticize the Federal Reserve for raising interest rates. The Fed’s subsequent rate hikes are largely blamed for the subsequent stock market crash at the turn of that year.
The president has not criticized the central bank since it reduced the interest rates to nearly zero to offset the financial impact of the pandemic of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus, commonly known as the coronavirus.
Alongside Shelton, Trump also announced in July last year his intent to nominate Christopher Waller to the Fed’s board. Waller, the executive vice president and director of the St. Louis Fed, cleared the committee hurdle on the same day as Shelton last week on an 18-7 vote. No Republican senator has publicly opposed Waller’s nomination.
If confirmed, Shelton and Waller would fill two vacant seats on the Federal Reserve’s board. Currently the board has four Republican appointees and one Democrat appointee.