Senators grill Trump's Federal Reserve nominee in hearing

The Federal Reserve building is seen in Washington. File Photo by Alexis C. Glenn/UPI
The Federal Reserve building is seen in Washington. File Photo by Alexis C. Glenn/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 13 (UPI) -- Senators across the political aisle grilled President Donald Trump's Federal Reserve nominee Judy Shelton Thursday in a confirmation hearing over her past writings on the gold standard and foreign exchange.

Shelton, a former economic adviser to Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, has faced criticism even from conservative commentators for writing an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal in 2009 urging the United States to "go back to the gold standard," a policy of linking the U.S. dollar to gold, which few economists support.


Since then, she has shifted her views.

"I would not advocate going back to prior historical monetary arrangement," she told the Senate Banking Committee confirmation hearing Thursday, regarding the gold standard. "I have looked at historical systems going back to the beginning of our country, because I think you can gain valuable insights by comparing economic performance under one set of monetary rules versus another. But money only moves forward."

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Still, Republican Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., said he was "troubled" over her previous writings, and further questioned whether she is "an outlier" and "not mainstream" in her thinking.


Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, the leading Democrat on the panel, voiced concern not only about her ideas, but also the shift in views.

"The bottom line is, Ms. Shelton has too many alarming ideas and has flip-flopped on too many important issues to be confirmed for this job," Brown said.

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Republican Sen. Patrick Toomey, R-Pa., questioned Shelton about her views on foreign exchange.

"We don't get to control other countries' monetary behavior, and I'm concerned about the extent to which you advocate for our monetary policy to be influenced and reactive to the foreign exchange behavior of other countries," Toomey said.

"It would be anathema to me to suggest that we devalue our money to gain a trade advantage," Shelton responded. "What I'm saying is that within the context for the framework for monetary policy, we also have to look at the impact on employment and on stable prices. And if other central banks engage in those unfair practices, it can effect employment."

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Shelton could reportedly become Trump's fifth Fed nominee to not to get confirmed by the GOP-controlled senate if she loses even two Republican votes in committee with Democrats strong opposition.


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