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Trump Fed nominees Judy Shelton and Christopher Waller testifyng before the Senate in February. (Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images)

The Senate Banking Committee voted on Tuesday to advance Trump's picks to fill the Federal Reserve board, Judy Shelton, and her much less controversial fellow nominee Christopher Waller, for confirmation by the full Senate.

Why it matters: Shelton's nomination is the most contentious in recent memory. Economists and policymakers worry about her record of fringe views and that granting the former Trump campaign adviser a spot on the Fed board would politicize the central bank.

Catch up quick: The Fed has two vacant seats on its 7-governor board. If Waller and Shelton are confirmed, all but one of them will have been nominated by Trump. Current members have more traditional backgrounds for the Fed board.

  • His prior picks to fill the 2 open slots — Nellie Liang, Stephen Moore and Herman Cain — never advanced this far in the nomination process. Marvin Goodfriend’s nomination lapsed before it got a full Senate vote.

Details: The vote to advance Shelton was along party lines. Waller was approved by an 18-7 margin, with some Democrats' support.

  • A few Republican committee members said publicly earlier this year they were wary of Shelton's views, but later said they would support her nomination.

The big picture: A Fed governor can serve a full term of 12 years and plays an important role in key monetary policy decisions.

  • The backdrop: The vote comes in the middle of an economic crisis caused by the pandemic, where the Fed has taken unprecedented action to support key funding markets and the economy.
  • It’s the members of the Fed board who decide on key emergency relief measures like the ones the Fed has announced.
  • Trump has chastised Fed chair Jerome Powell, appointed during his administration, throughout his term. In recent months, he’s praised the Fed for its response to the economic downturn.

What’s next: The full Senate will vote on whether to appoint Shelton and Waller to the Fed board.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Oct 26, 2020 - Economy & Business

Where stimulus is needed most

Data: U.S. Census Household Pulse Survey; Chart: Axios Visuals

The Census Bureau's latest survey of Americans' forward-looking economic expectations found a particularly dour outlook.

Details: Three of the country's four most populous states expect to see at least one in four citizens lose some employment income in the next four weeks.

Schumer: Coney Barrett vote "one of the darkest days" in Senate history

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Monday "will go down as one of the darkest days" in Senate history, moments before the chamber voted 52-48 to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

The bottom line: Schumer said his Republican colleagues "decided to thwart the will of the people" by holding the vote eight days ahead of the presidential election, despite opposing President Obama's nominee because it was an election year.

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

Satellite view of the bomb cyclone swirling off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and the atmospheric river affecting California on Oct. 24. Photo: CIRA/RAMMB

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest — triggering widespread power outages and flooding.

Why it matters: The strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is causing Northern California to whiplash from drought to flood.