HELENA, MT – Tomorrow, the lame-duck Senate will likely vote to confirm Trump’s controversial Federal Reserve nominee Judy Shelton. The move is seen as another desperate attempt by the Trump administration to shape the makeup of the board before leaving office. Shelton’s views on economic policy so are outdated, controversial, and extreme that her nomination had been viewed as all but dead until Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski inexplicably flipped her position despite Shelton’s suggestion that America’s public assets, including our public lands, be sold off to pay down the national debt.
“Instead of helping Americans during the pandemic, the Trump administration and Mitch McConnell’s lame-duck Senate are teaming up to appoint extremist nominees like Shelton before the clock strikes midnight. Not only does Judy Shelton hold controversial views that are out-of-touch when it comes to economic policy, but she’s also an advocate of selling off America’s public lands to pay down Trump’s historic deficits,” said Western Values Project director Jayson O’Neill. “Any senator that votes to confirm an extremist nominee that supports selling off our public lands is going to have some explaining to do.”
Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski, a critical swing vote, surprisingly announced that she would be voting in favor of Shelton, likely giving Trump’s controversial nominee the necessary votes to be confirmed. What influenced her decision to flip and side with the administration after President Trump made it a point that he would be campaigning against her in 2022 is unclear, but the administration has been pushing two major projects Murkowski has long desired – oil and gas drilling in ANWR and logging the Tongass.
The only republican senators that have committed to voting against Shelton are Utah Senator Mitt Romney and Maine Senator Susan Collins. Montana Senator Steve Daines’ reelection campaign focused heavily on protecting America’s public lands, yet the state’s junior senator is expected to vote for Shelton. Montana’s senior Senator Jon Tester slammed Shelton’s radical privatization views and is expected to vote against her confirmation.