Stephen Moore Nomination to Fed Looking Doubtful as Republicans Balk

May 1, 2019by Jennifer Haberkorn
Steven Moore participates in FreedomFest 2018, the annual gathering of Libertarians. Moore is Trump's pick to run the Fed, and also owes $75,000 to IRS, court document says. (Brian Cahn/ZUMA Wire/TNS)

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s expected pick to fill a seat on the Federal Reserve is running into significant trouble in the Senate, where Republicans have expressed skepticism over Stephen Moore’s past writings and statements about women.

“It will be a very problematic nomination,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a close ally of Trump.

Moore, a conservative economist and commentator who served as a Trump campaign adviser, has not yet been formally nominated, though Trump has said he would be “great” on the Fed.

In recent days, closer scrutiny of Moore’s previous articles and interviews has raised questions about his views on women, equal pay, child labor and equality in sports.

“Obviously I would have concerns about some of his writings on women, some of his economic policies and whether or not he believes in the independence of the Federal Reserve,” said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. “But I think this debate is premature until we see that the president is going to go through with the nomination.”

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, said she was “not enthused” about voting for Moore.

With a 53-seat Senate majority, Republicans can only afford to lose three votes, assuming all Democrats vote against Moore.

It would mark the second time the White House has had to pull a candidate for the Federal Reserve. Just weeks ago, businessman Herman Cain said he would not pursue the post after four Republican senators indicated they would not support his nomination.

Moore has defended himself, saying some of his past remarks were ill considered and others were intended as humor. He has described the attacks against him as a smear campaign.

The White House said Monday it is reviewing Moore’s past writings.

“Capital is pretty precious in a divided government,” said Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D. “It’s up to the White House how much capital they want to spend on getting Stephen over the finish line.”

According to articles reviewed by CNN, Moore denounced women in sports as a “travesty” and said that women should not be referees — unless they were attractive. He has since apologized for those remarks.

In 2014, he questioned the implications for society if women earn more than men.

“We don’t really know, but it could be disruptive to family stability,” he wrote in the National Review. “If men aren’t the breadwinners, will women regard them as economically expendable?”

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