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Federal Reserve building. Photo: uschools via Getty Images

President Trump announced on Twitter Tuesday that he intended to nominate two people to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors: Christopher Waller of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, and Judy Shelton, an economist and a Fed critic.

Why it matters: Trump has been urging the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates, stoking widespread concern that he is seeking to politicize the Fed. Waller's boss has publicly favored a rate cut, while Shelton, who has repeatedly endorsed a return to the gold standard, recently told the Wall Street Journal that the Fed should cut rates.

What's happening: Trump's last three consecutive picks for the Fed board — Nellie Liang, Herman Cain and Stephen Moore — all withdrew from consideration. Cain and Moore did so following intense media scrutiny of their public records. Trump's attempt to fill seats on the Fed board have come amid his outspoken and unprecedented attacks against interest rate hikes by Chairman Jerome Powell.

The backstory:

  • Waller works for St. Louis Fed President James Bullard — who has been known to advocate for more dovish monetary policy and, more recently — a rate cut. The White House approached him last month about the Fed, a St. Louis Fed spokesperson told Axios. Waller met with Trump on Tuesday. Bullard disclosed last week that the Trump administration had approached him for a seat on the Fed governor’s board.
  • Bloomberg reported in May that Shelton was in the running for a potential nomination.

What’s next: Both Waller and Shelton will need to be confirmed by the Senate. Waller, a former economics professor who has been at the St. Louis Fed for 10 years, is considered a more traditional Fed pick, with a similar background to other Fed governors. He recently defended the St. Louis Fed’s opposition to interest rate hikes in an interview with Bloomberg, before news of a potential nomination came out.

  • Though Shelton was already confirmed by the Senate for a separate position, Fed watchers suspect she might face difficulty, given comments in recent weeks in which she shifted previous criticism of low rates to support for such a move — falling more in line with Trump’s expressed views.

Go deeper

New wave of strikes will test worker power

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Thousands of John Deere workers hit the picket line this week after the union smacked down a new worker contract from the farm and equipment maker.

Why it matters: There’s a wave of worker angst spreading across the country. They wield new power that’s come with a historic worker shortage.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
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The smart city comes of age

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Better sensors, more intelligent AI, and the coming wave of 5G wireless could finally fulfill the promise of the smart city.

Why it matters: How we organize, run and power our cities will be increasingly important in the years ahead, as urbanization expands and the damaging effects of climate change compound.

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11 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Key clean power provision likely won't survive in Dems' spending bill

A construction worker walks along a dirt road at the Avangrid Renewables La Joya wind farm in Encino, New Mexico, on Aug. 5, 2020. Photo: Cate Dingley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A pillar of Democrats' plans to speed deployment of zero-carbon electricity is likely to be cut from major spending and tax legislation they are struggling to move on a party-line vote, per multiple reports and a Capitol Hill aide.

Driving the news: The New York Times, citing anonymous congressional aides and lobbyists, reports that West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) has told the White House he "strongly opposes" the Clean Electricity Performance Program.