WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Susan Collins on Monday became the second Republican to come out against the nomination of Judy Shelton, President Donald Trump’s latest pick to join the powerful Federal Reserve board.
“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, a moderate who faces a tough re-election fight in Maine, said in a written statement.
“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.”
U.S. Senator Mitt Romney, of Utah, said last week he would also oppose the nomination of Shelton, a former Trump campaign adviser.
Shelton, who in the past has supported a return to the gold standard and advocated the Fed be more in line with Trump’s White House regarding monetary policy, was approved last Tuesday by the Senate Banking Committee on a narrow 13-12 party line vote.
For confirmation, she requires approval in the wider Senate, where Republicans hold a 53-47 majority.
At least two more Republicans would need to join Romney and Collins to block Shelton joining the top ranks of economic policymaking at the U.S. central bank.
North Dakota Senator Kevin Cramer, who had joined Romney in sinking Trump’s proposed nomination last year of former presidential candidate Herman Cain, said last week that he would support Shelton.
(Reporting by Lindsay Dunsmuir, Editing by Franklin Paul and Tom Brown)