Banking and Finance Law Daily Senate cloture vote fails on Shelton’s nomination to Fed
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Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Senate cloture vote fails on Shelton’s nomination to Fed

By Nicole D. Prysby, J.D.

The motion to end debate and vote on Shelton’s nomination failed, with 50 nay votes, 47 aye votes, and three abstentions.

On a bipartisan basis, the Senate voted against confirming Judy Shelton’s nomination to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Three Republican senators abstained and three crossed the aisle to vote with Democrats against the motion to end debate and vote on the nomination. Since Shelton’s nomination in January, multiple senators have spoken out against her nomination.

On Nov. 17, 2020, the cloture motion in the Senate to end debate and vote on Shelton’s nomination failed, with 50 nay votes, 47 aye votes, and three abstentions. According to the Washington Post, support for Shelton narrowed after two Republicans, Sens. Rick Scott (R-Fla) and Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), announced they were quarantining themselves after being exposed to the coronavirus and could not attend the vote. The Post also reported that Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-SD) said Republicans still expect to have enough support to confirm Shelton eventually.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), issued a press release on the bipartisan vote against Shelton, stating that "Judy Shelton is not only unqualified for the job, she is a threat to our economic recovery and doesn’t belong on the Fed. And thanks to the bipartisan coalition that opposed her nomination today, she isn’t any closer to being there." Senator John Tester (D-Mont) issued a statement that "Shelton has repeatedly displayed a staggering ignorance of basic economic principles and a clear pattern of partisan political opportunism."

Similarly, Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), a member of the Senate Banking Committee, remarked that Dr. Shelton "has called for a return to the gold standard and questioned the need for deposit insurance. But now that her inconvenient views are out in the open, she claims she never really held them. She would make the Fed less independent The Senate did its duty on a bipartisan basis in rejecting Dr. Shelton’s nomination, and the Senate should focus now on providing another comprehensive COVID-19 relief package."

As previously reported, in January (see Banking and Finance Law Daily, Jan. 31, 2020), Shelton’s nomination was sent to the Senate. In February, the Senate Banking Committee held a hearing on Shelton’s nomination (see Banking and Finance Law Daily, Feb. 14, 2020). The Senate Banking Committee voted to approve Shelton’s nomination in July 2020. Several Senators released public statements opposing Shelton’s nomination, including Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee, and Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn) (see Banking and Finance Law Daily, Nov. 17, 2020), as well as Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore) (see Banking and Finance Law Daily, Nov. 13, 2020), and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) (see Banking and Finance Law Daily, Feb. 3, 2020).

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