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US Senate blocks Trump’s controversial Fed candidate

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US Vice President-elect and Senator (D-CA) Kamala Harris cast a key vote that blocked a controversial appointment to the Federal Reserve (AFP)

The US Senate on Tuesday blocked President Donald Trump’s controversial pick from joining the Federal Reserve board, at least for now.

Two Republicans joined Democrats in opposing Judy Shelton, a strident critic of the central bank who has faced an unprecedented public wave of resistance from dozens of well-known economists and Nobel laureates.

Vice President-elect and Senator Kamala Harris returned to Washington to cast the tie-breaking vote, interrupting planning for President-elect Joe Biden’s administration.

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However, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell also voted no making the final tally 50-47, likely a strategic move which leaves the door open for him to call for another vote.

Covid-19 complicated the voting, as two Republican senators were unable to vote because they were in quarantine, including Chuck Grassley of Iowa — who missed a vote for the first time since 1993.

A third Republican who was absent publicly opposed Shelton’s nomination.

Shelton was an outspoken supporter of low interest rates when President Barack Obama was in office.

Her nomination was one of several Trump made that would have undermined the political independence of the US central bank.

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“We need a reliable Federal Reserve to help manage our economy in this pandemic. Judy Shelton’s dangerous ideas would devastate our economy, and her lack of commitment to using the full force of the Fed to provide COVID-19 relief is unacceptable,” Harris said on Twitter after the vote.

Shelton also has expressed support for returning to the gold standard — where the currency is tied to a fixed quantity of gold — believing that such a system would guarantee stability for exchange rates.

However, a return to the gold standard is viewed as unrealistic and outdated by the majority of economists — it was abandoned in 1971 by President Richard Nixon.

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Fed nominations are always bipartisan, but Senator Chuck Schumer, the top Democrat in the upper chamber, lambasted Shelton as supremely unfit for the position.

She is “without a doubt one of the most unqualified nominees I have ever seen for our nation’s central bank,” he said on the Senate floor, criticizing her as an “economic weather vane pointing whichever way she thinks the partisan winds are blowing.”

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2020 Election

Republican’s own standing in Congress now in doubt — did his voter fraud lawsuit backfire?

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A Republican congressman from Pennsylvania has cast doubt on his own legitimacy to serve in Congress with his failed lawsuit attempting to overturn the 2020 election results.

Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) attempted to have the courts block certification of the 2020 election results, but his effort was rejected by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Saturday.

"The PA Supreme Court dismisses the case brought by U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly that sought to overturn last year’s law creating no-excuse mail voting and to throw out those mail ballots cast in this election," Philadelphia Inquirer correspondent Jonathan Lai reported Saturday. "This is the case the Commonwealth Court had earlier blocked certification in."

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2020 Election

‘Another win for democracy’: Pennsylvania AG celebrates Trump’s latest loss in court

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Republican efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election continued to be rejected by judges on Saturday.

"The PA Supreme Court dismisses the case brought by U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly that sought to overturn last year’s law creating no-excuse mail voting and to throw out those mail ballots cast in this election," Philadelphia Inquirer correspondent Jonathan Lai reported Saturday. "This is the case the Commonwealth Court had earlier blocked certification in."

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro celebrated the ruling on Twitter.

"BREAKING: We just notched another win for democracy," Shapiro tweeted, with a red siren emoji.

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2020 Election

What can the left expect from a Biden-Harris administration? Pretty much nothing

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On Nov. 7 of this year, the United States let out a collective roar that rippled across the nation, resonating the crowds of blue-clad people swelling the streets and the squares, and causing buildings to tremble as those inside broke out the champagne and began to dance. The celebrations lasted long into the night. For those few precious moments, it felt as though a curse had been lifted, a nightmare abated. Trumpism had ground itself to a resounding and decisive halt and it seemed that political space on the left, and on the center ground, had finally begun to open again.

This article originally appeared at Salon.

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