President Donald Trump looks set to put his final stamp on the U.S. Federal Reserve. The Senate anticipated approving his picks soon to occupy the last two open seats at the US central bank.
The Senate votes on former economic adviser Judy Shelton and St. Louis Fed research director Christopher Waller could start next week.
This was a statement from Republican Senator John Cornyn on Thursday, with Cornyn’s communications director confirming it.
Previously, Republican leaders have said they would not advance the nominations. That’s unless they’re confident that Shelton, who drew criticism for being too partisan, has the support needed for approval.
The Republicans’ control of the Senate, however, which is currently by 53 members, is only assured up until January. This time-frame is giving them cause to act now.
In the elections where Trump lost to Democrat Joe Biden, voters also gave Democrats one additional Senate seat.
Control of a couple more seats, and of the Senate itself, hangs on the outcome of a Jan. 5 runoff in Georgia.
According to critics, Shelton could politicize the central bank’s interest-rate setting. That’s because of her ties to Trump. She told lawmakers in her confirmation hearing, though, that no one tells her what to do.
Shelton’s term would end in January 2024 and Waller’s would end in 2030.
The two would be regular voters on the Fed’s 12-member rate-setting panel. PresidentTrump also picked the Fed chair, all but one of the other Fed Board governors.
A couple of Republicans have said they will not support Shelton.
Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski plans to vote to confirm Shelton, according to a statement from her office on Thursday. She had opposed prior Trump picks for the U.S. central bank.
Her office said Senator Murkowski determined Dr. Shelton is qualified to serve in the role.