Top Senate Democrat Says Trump's Fed Picks Unqualified

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2019-04-09

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Rob Garver contributed to this report

The top Senate Democrat says President Donald Trump's picks to fill two vacant seats on the Federal Reserve Board are unqualified for the job.

Trump has nominated former pizza chain boss Herman Cain and conservative economic commentator Stephen Moore for the Fed — posts that need Senate confirmation. Both are strong Trump supporters.

"I don't see the qualifications of Cain or Moore fitting in with the mission of the Fed, which is to conduct monetary policy and not be political," Sen. Chuck Schumer said Tuesday.

Cain is best known as the former CEO of the Godfather's Pizza chain and a failed 2012 Republican presidential candidate.

He had several top positions at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. But local Fed boards do not set monetary policy and do not have the global impact that the main Federal Reserve has.

Stephen Moore was a Trump campaign economic adviser and is a TV commentator and columnist for The Wall Street Journal.

Opponents to their nominations say they could compromise the Fed's credibility as an independent policymaking body that responds only to economic trends, not politics.

Chief White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told CNN television that Cain and Moore are both "very smart people" and said Trump has "every right to put people on the Federal Reserve board ... who share his philosophy."

But Cain has faced charges of sexual harassment, which he denies, and Moore owes more than $75,000 in back taxes. He was once found in contempt of court for failing to pay $300,000 in alimony and child support.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has not commented on the qualifications of either man, only saying "We're going to look at whoever the president sends up."