Published December 03 2020, 10:38 PM
Updated December 04 2020, 11:41 AM
(Bloomberg) -- The Senate confirmed Christopher Waller to serve on the Federal Reserve Board, but the status of President Donald Trump’s second nominee, Judy Shelton, remained in limbo amid opposition from Democrats and some Republicans.
Senators voted 48-47 to put Waller on the U.S. central bank, concluding a confirmation process that had been dragged out for months because of controversy surrounding Shelton, who was nominated by Trump at the same time.
Waller, 61, becomes the fourth Trump pick to join the seven-member Fed board. He is viewed as a policy dove who will probably give full backing to the central bank’s projection to hold interest rates near zero to support the U.S. economy during the coronavirus pandemic.
Waller, who gained his Ph.D. in economics 1985 from Washington State University, currently runs the research department at the central bank’s St. Louis branch where his boss, James Bullard, has been an outspoken advocate for lower interest rates in recent years.
Waller helped develop Bullard’s dovish policy position, based on an outlook of an economy mired in a state of low inflation and low growth. It’s a stance that raised eyebrows when introduced in June 2016, but has since been vindicated by Fed rate cuts and its recent commitment not to preemptively tighten monetary policy even as unemployment falls.