Jul 21 2020
Washington, D.C.—Today, Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA), Vice Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC), released the following statement ahead of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee’s expected vote on Judy Shelton’s nomination to the Federal Reserve Board.
“Judy Shelton’s extreme ideas, such as advocating a return to the gold standard, are far outside the mainstream and make her unfit to serve on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Pegging the dollar to the price of gold was abandoned by the United States in 1971 and a return to it would have severely constrained the Fed’s aggressive response to the recession resulting from COVID-19.
“Moreover, Dr. Shelton’s past statements and writings show that she does not value the Fed or its independence. In one op-ed, Shelton asked: ‘Why do we need a central bank?’ In another, she called for a ‘more coordinated relationship’ between the Fed and the White House, something that would make it far more difficult for the Fed to pursue its policy mandates based on data and analysis and remain free from political interference. The President already badgers the Fed to cut rates to goose the economy as if it were a political arm of the White House—we do not need to put someone on the Board who thinks such ‘coordination’ is okay.
“In addition, Dr. Shelton has flipped on policy issues depending on which party controls the White House. She was a regular critic of loose monetary policy until President Trump took office. Yet during the Trump administration, she has advocated for lowering rates ‘as fast’ as possible—one reason Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell called Shelton ‘an opportunist and a quack.’
“The current economic crisis once again has underscored the critical role of the Federal Reserve and the need for strong, independent leadership at the central bank. Judy Shelton miserably flunks that test.”