Republican senators on Tuesday began vocalizing their opposition to Stephen Moore, President Donald Trump’s nominee for the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, amid widespread criticism that the economic commentator is unfit for the job.
Sens. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) both told reporters that they’re not confident in Moore, whom many economists have called out as a partisan pick more known for promoting conservative fiscal policy than for having any economic expertise.
Ernst, the first Republican to speak out, told CNN it was “very unlikely” that she’d support Moore’s nomination and that she didn’t believe he would be confirmed if he came up for an immediate vote. Several of her colleagues have privately expressed concerns about him, she added.
Graham, typically one of Trump’s most ardent supporters, told the Los Angeles Times that the president’s choice was going to be quite “problematic.”
Trump nominated Moore in March to fill one of two vacant seats on the board ― the country’s most powerful institute charged with minimizing American unemployment, stabilizing prices and regulating banks ― despite his long history of flubbing comments about the economy during media interviews.
He was also one of the masterminds behind a disastrous 2012 tax cut experiment in Kansas that led to state revenues falling $700 million overnight.
Republicans previously expressed concern about Herman Cain, a Federal Reserve Board pick Trump was considering until last week. The president said he would honor Cain’s request not to nominate him.
Several GOP senators said they would not vote to confirm Cain, a businessman who had to drop out of the 2016 presidential race because of sexual harassment allegations and who launched a pro-Trump super PAC last year called the America Fighting Back PAC.