When it comes to Mr. Trump’s other nominee, Republican economic analyst Judy Shelton, a lack of GOP seriousness about the Senate’s advice-and-consent role could prove troublesome indeed. As we have noted previously, Ms. Shelton would bring to the board views that are extreme (longtime support for a version of the gold standard) when they are not inconsistent (she abhorred low interest rates when Barack Obama was president but praised them under Mr. Trump). To confirm someone apparently chosen more for her loyalty to this president than for her actual qualifications to make monetary policy would undermine the central bank’s independence.
Fortunately, there are signs that Republicans may push back against the Shelton nomination, just as GOP objections caused two earlier poorly qualified Trump candidates, Herman Cain and Stephen Moore, to withdraw from consideration for the positions that Mr. Waller and Ms. Shelton would fill. At a Senate Banking Committee hearing Thursday, two members of the Republican majority expressed reservations about Ms. Shelton. Sen. Richard C. Shelby (Ala.) pronounced himself “troubled” by some of Ms. Shelton’s writings. Sen. Patrick J. Toomey (Pa.) suggested her past views on monetary policy were in some ways “very, very dangerous.” If just one of these two senators votes no, Ms. Shelton would lack majority support on the 25-member committee, since all 12 Democrats appear ready to reject her.
We urge these senators to stop the Shelton nomination. The independence of not only the Fed but also the Senate is at stake. Regarding the latter, there was encouraging news Thursday when a war powers resolution sponsored by Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) passed with support of eight Republicans. Mr. Kaine’s resolution directs the president to end the use of military force against Iran within 30 days, absent explicit congressional authorization, except in response to an “imminent attack.”
While mostly symbolic — the “imminent attack” loophole is a large one — and lacking veto-proof support in either house of Congress, the resolution is nevertheless a healthy stirring of senatorial self-respect. The GOP senators’ yes votes are especially welcome in view of the fact that Mr. Trump tweeted that supporting Mr. Kaine would show “weakness,” while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also urged GOP members to oppose Mr. Kaine’s effort. If Republican senators want to safeguard their institution’s role in the constitutional system, protecting the Fed from a flagrantly unqualified nominee would be a virtuous next step.