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.

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Senate Judiciary advances Amy Coney Barrett nomination

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday advanced the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court despite a boycott by Democratic senators.

The big picture: The 12 Republicans on the panel voted in favor of advancing the nomination while the committee's 10 Democrats submitted no votes. Democrats instead placed enlarged photos of Affordable Care Act beneficiaries in their seats, drawing attention to the upcoming Supreme Court case on the legislation. A full Senate vote on Barrett's nomination is set for Oct. 26.

Senate Dems will boycott vote to advance Judge Amy Coney Barrett

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Senate Democrats are expected to boycott Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s Thursday Judiciary Committee vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced on Wednesday.

The big picture: The boycott will not prevent Barrett from moving forward in the nomination process, but the largely symbolic display is a symptom of Democrats and Republicans’ clashing over President Trump’s Supreme Court pick.

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The murder hornets are here

A braver man than me holds a speciment of the Asian giant hornet. Photo: Karen Ducey/Getty Images

Entomologists in Washington state on Thursday discovered the first Asian giant hornet nest in the U.S.

Why it matters: You may know this insect species by its nom de guerre: "the murder hornet." While the threat they pose to humans has been overstated, the invading hornets could decimate local honeybee populations if they establish themselves.