The United States Senate blocked President Donald Trump’s controversial nomination of Judy Shelton to the board of the US Federal Reserve, making her the latest in a string of failed nominees to the central bank.
Trump’s Republican Party has a 53-47 majority in the current Senate, but several Republicans opposed Shelton’s nomination and two were absent due to exposure to Covid-19.
Shelton’s nomination failed 47 to 50 on a key procedural vote, with three Republicans joining Democrats in voting ‘no’.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated he may move to bring the nomination back to a vote later if Republicans can rally their members.
Democratic leaders had asked Senator Kamala Harris, who as Vice President-elect has been working with President-elect Joe Biden in Wilmington, Delaware, to return to Washington for the vote on Shelton. As vice president beginning on January 20, Harris would be the tie-breaker in any 50-50 Senate vote.
“This new testing option is an important diagnostic advancement to address the pandemic and reduce the public burden of disease transmission,” said FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn in the statement.
It could also help take some strain off testing labs that are being overwhelmed by demand. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday that if communities could have carried out widespread testing, it could have helped slow transmission before it took off explosively.