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From Banking and Finance Law Daily, May 2, 2019

President will not nominate Moore to Fed

By John M. Pachkowski, J.D.

The president indicates that he will not nominate Stephen Moore to be a member of the Federal Reserve Board.

Following increased opposition from Senate Republicans, President Donald J. Trump has announced, through a tweet, that he will not nominate Stephen Moore to become a member of the Federal Reserve Board.

"Great on the Fed." In March 2019 remarks, the president said, "I will be nominating Mr. Moore for the Fed. You know who I’m talking about. So he’s going to be—he’s going to be a great. He’s going to be great on the Fed" (see Banking and Finance Law Daily, March 22, 2019).

Losing Republican support. It was noted in a New York Timesarticle that Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) told the White House, on April 30, 2019, she was unlikely to support Moore, becoming the first senator in her party to be nearing an explicit disavowal of his nomination. The Times article added that other Republican senators expressing concerns over the nomination included Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Lindsey O. Graham (R-SC); and noting that Senate Banking Committee member Richard Shelby (R-Ala) saying "Mr. Moore was in ‘serious trouble.’"

Cain withdrawal. A second presumptive Fed nominee, businessman and 2012 Republican presidential candidate, Herman Cain withdrew his name from consideration in late April 2019. At the time of Cain’s withdrawal from consideration, Senate Democrats were concerned that Cain’s withdrawal would serve as a pathway for Republicans to approve Moore to the Fed (see Banking and Finance Law Daily, April 23, 2019).

Democrat opposition. Although support for Moore’s nomination was meeting Republican opposition, a number of Senate Democrats, led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass), were also opposed to the nomination.

Warren noted that Moore was unqualified to be on the Fed and that he has made "false, contradictory, and politically motivated statements." In a letter to Moore, Warren asked him to respond to a number of questions including whether he still holds the view expressed in 2015 that the United States should move to a gold standard and whether he believes that the United States is experiencing deflation (see Banking and Finance Law Daily, April 15, 2019).

In another instance, Warren questioned Moore’s ability to remain impartial given his ties to special interest groups and sought details about his involvement with special interest groups. In a letter to Moore, Warren highlighted several examples of ties to special interest groups that she feels would raise concerns about Moore’s impartiality. (see Banking and Finance Law Daily, April 29, 2019).

Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), the Ranking Member of the Senate Banking Committee, also called on Moore to apologize for insulting the Midwest region for remarks made at a Heartland Institute book discussion in which Moore referred to Cincinnati, Cleveland, and other Midwest cities as "armpits of America." In a letter, Brown demanded both an apology and a retraction. Brown noted that Moore "dismissed millions of Americans who work and live in small towns and cities across the industrial heartland." The senator added that as a member of the Fed, Moore’s job would be to work for policies that support communities all across the United States, but his comments and policies show "it’s clear that you lack the judgment to make important decisions in their best interest" (see Banking and Finance Law Daily, April 25, 2019).

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