Trump's Fed pick Shelton draws third Republican 'no'

FILE PHOTO: Committee Chairman Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), speaks during a U.S. Senate Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Hearing to examine COVID-19, focusing on an update on the federal response at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., September 23, 2020. Graeme Jennings/Pool via REUTERS

(Reuters) – A third senator said he would oppose Republican U.S. President Donald Trump’s controversial pick for the Federal Reserve, former economic adviser Judy Shelton, narrowing the margin of her support but likely not eliminating her chance at confirmation.

“I oppose the nomination of Judy Shelton because I am not convinced that she supports the independence of the Federal Reserve Board as much as I believe the Board of Governors should,” Tennessee’s Lamar Alexander, a Republican, said in a statement Monday. “I don’t want to turn over management of the money supply to a Congress and a President who can’t balance the federal budget.”

Trump’s Republican party has a 53-47 majority in the current Senate, and even with Alexander joining colleagues Mitt Romney and Susan Collins in voting against, Vice President Mike Pence could cast a tie-breaking vote. And it may not come to that, should the confirmation vote be held in the next few days: the Washington Post reported that Alexander will not be in Washington this week.

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