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The first victory of the Biden administration

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This is a big deal:

The Republican-led Senate on Tuesday failed to get enough votes to break a filibuster of Judy Shelton, President Donald Trump’s controversial nominee for the Federal Reserve.But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who had initially voted for the nominee, switched to vote against her, giving him the procedural right to bring her up for another vote in the near future. It’s not clear when that might happen. The final vote was 47-50.At issue was a group of GOP senators who, like all Democrats, oppose Shelton’s nomination combined with a spate of GOP absences — some caused by potential exposure to Covid-19 — that are making the math tricky for Republican leaders as they try to get her confirmed.Shelton has advocated a number of unusual policy ideas, including a return to the gold standard, which would link the US dollar’s value to the price of gold. America abandoned it in 1971. She has also attacked the Fed’s independence. In 2011, she called the central bank “almost a rogue agency.” This has been particularly problematic given the President’s continued criticism of the central bank, which is headed by another Trump pick, Chairman Jerome Powell.

Given that Biden won’t be able to get a fiscal dove confirmed to the Federal Reserve if Republicans retain the Senate, stopping a hyper-partisan goldbug crank from being confirmed is very important, denying Republicans one important lever they could use to handicap a Biden administration.

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