The Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday approved the nominations of Judy Shelton and Christopher J. Waller to the Federal Reserve board of governors.
In a party-line vote, Ms. Shelton's nomination was approved 13-12, while the margin for Mr. Waller was 18-7.
Ms. Shelton, the U.S. executive director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development who previously served as an economic adviser to Mr. Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, faced tough questions at her nomination hearing in February about her past writings, among other things, advocating for a return to the gold standard and higher interest rates, positions she no longer holds.
She was also grilled during that hearing about Fed independence, which Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, the committee's ranking member, brought up once more before the vote Tuesday. "Dr. Shelton doesn't believe in an independent Fed," he said. "Our economic crisis would be even worse if she were sitting on the board today."
Mr. Brown added, "At a time when the White House regularly attacks the Fed's independence, we can't allow someone who doesn't believe in Fed independence to undermine it from within."
Ms. Shelton's nomination was in jeopardy after February's hearing but in the end, she received support from each of the committee's 13 Republican members.
Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, the committee chairman, said Ms. Shelton would uphold Fed independence. In supporting her nomination, Mr. Crapo added, "I am confident that her deep understanding of the Fed's monetary policy toolkit, monetary history and commitment to maintaining Fed independence will serve the Fed well in its ongoing efforts to stabilize markets, and toward its mission of price stability and full employment.
Both nominations will now head to the full Senate; a vote has yet to be scheduled.
If confirmed, Ms. Shelton would serve the remainder of a 14-year term that expires Jan. 31, 2024, a seat previously held by former Chairwoman Janet L. Yellen.
Mr. Waller, executive vice president and director of research at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, if confirmed, would serve the remainder of a 14-year term that was never filled and that expires Jan. 31, 2030.
There are currently two vacancies on the seven-member Fed board.