Filling Fed Vacancies Would Leave Biden with Few Options to Replace Powell

by William J. Luther
The American Institute for Economic Research

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) appears intent to fill the two remaining vacancies on the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors. Judy Shelton and Christopher Waller were formally nominated by President Donald Trump in January and approved by the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs in July. Last Thursday, McConnell took procedural steps to set up a full Senate vote for Shelton. (Note: Shelton was previously the director of the Sound Money Project, before it moved to AIER.) The motion to limit debate (and proceed to a vote on the nomination) failed (47-50) on Monday. McConnell joined the “No” voters at the last minute, however, which permits him to reconsider the motion in the future.

Will McConnell make another attempt to confirm Shelton? It would seem likely, provided that he has the votes. Sens. Rick Scott (R-FL) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) were absent on Monday, as both are in quarantine. Their votes, with McConnell’s, would bring the “Ayes” to 50. Vice President Mike Pence breaks a tie.

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