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Judy Shelton testifies before Congress in February. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images

President Trump's controversial Fed pick Judy Shelton appears to be blocked from joining the central bank's board, for now — a dramatic turn of events, marred by two senators who were expected to support her, but were in quarantine for COVID-related concerns.

Why it matters: Some Republicans broke ranks and opposed Shelton, who in the past has endorsed fringe economic policies and reversed her beliefs to be more in line with those of Trump. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris cast a crucial vote against Shelton on Tuesday, with the final tally coming out to 50-47.

Yes, but: Sen. Mitch McConnell changed his vote to "no" — a strategy that could revive Shelton's nomination down the line.

Details: Shelton's last hurdles to confirmation looked like a lock late last week when Sen. Mitch McConnell invoked cloture on her nomination. That is until Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said Tuesday that he was exposed to the coronavirus, forcing him to quarantine and miss the vote. Sen. Rick Scott was also absent as he quarantines.

  • On Monday, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) came out against Shelton, but he was planning to be absent from the vote regardless.
  • Sens. Mitt Romney and Susan Collins voted against Shelton. Democrats unanimously opposed the nomination.

The big picture: All but one member of the Fed's seven-member board has been nominated by Trump.

  • Shelton is another setback for the president who's failed to fill the remaining two open slots on the Fed thanks to a string of unsuccessful candidates who have been unable to move forward — including the late Herman Cain and Stephen Moore.

What to watch: Still no word on a full Senate vote on Christopher Waller, director of research at the St. Louis Fed and the far less controversial candidate nominated by Trump.

Go deeper

Republicans pledge to set aside differences and work with Biden

President Biden speaks to Sen. Mitch McConnell after being sworn in at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Several Republicans praised President Biden's calls for unity during his inaugural address on Wednesday and pledged to work together for the benefit of the American people.

Why it matters: The Democrats only have a slim majority in the Senate and Biden will likely need to work with the GOP to pass his legislative agenda.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

Over 3,000 detained in protests across Russia demanding Navalny's release

Russian police officers beat protestesters at a rally against of jailing of oppositon leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow on Saturday. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Police in Russia on Saturday arrested more than 3,300 people as protesters nationwide demanded that opposition leader Alexey Navalny be released from jail.

Details: Demonstrations began in the eastern regions of Russia and spread west to more than 60 cities.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona Republicans censure Cindy McCain and GOP governor

Combination images of Cindy McCain and Gov. Doug Ducey. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic for U.S.VETS/Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Arizona Republican Party members voted on Saturday to censure prominent GOP figures Cindy McCain, Gov. Doug Ducey and former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who've all faced clashes with former President Trump.

Why it matters: Although the resolution is symbolic, this move plus the re-election of the Trump-endorsed Kelli Ward as state GOP chair shows the strong hold the former president has on the party in Arizona, despite President Biden winning the state in the 2020 election.

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