WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) – Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs today continued to press his colleagues to vote against Judy Shelton’s nomination to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Brown highlighted Dr. Shelton’s record including her decades-long advocacy for the Gold Standard. Brown made clear that Dr. Shelton is a highly troubling and destabilizing choice for the Federal Reserve Board at a critical time for the nation during the public health and economic crisis.

Video of the speech can be found here and Brown’s remarks on the Senate Floor, as prepared for delivery, are below:

 

Mr./Mdme. President,

The American people sent a clear message in this election: they voted for stability, and they rejected an administration that has failed them in the middle of a public health and economic crisis.

People want a government that works for them, and is on their side.

My colleagues of both parties know this.

I know some of you feel like you have to humor the outgoing president – but you know that Joe Biden won. And you won – most of you won your elections on the same ballot, and you don’t have to play along with the tweets and the chaos and the crazy anymore.

We need to move on, and actually deliver for the people who voted for us and put their faith in us. The last thing we should be doing is granting Trump one last wish – one more opportunity to salt the earth on his way out.

The Federal Reserve is supposed to be a steady, guiding hand making sure our economy actually delivers for the people who make it work.

They’re supposed to worry about the big picture of the economy, so hardworking families don’t have to.

But Judy Shelton believes the opposite, and that’s why Trump wants to put her on the Federal Reserve.

At a time when 80 million Americans voted for stability, Shelton promises more Trump chaos.

I know we have disagreements – we have progressive economic ideas and conservative economic ideas. But Judy Shelton is not a conservative – she’s off the ideological spectrum.

For three decades and in more than 50 publications, including two books, Shelton has advocated returning to the gold standard.

Let’s be clear what that means – it would mean abandoning some of the most important tools we have to make people’s lives better.

We can’t sabotage our economic recovery before it even happens by putting people in charge who want to drag us backward.

If we had followed Shelton’s advice, we might still be in the Great Recession.

In multiple writings, she’s also said she opposes FDIC deposit insurance – the insurance that protects your money when you put it in the bank.

In other words, she thinks that if a bank fails – and we all remember from 2008, banks do indeed fail – if a bank fails, then she thinks all the families whose savings and paychecks are stored in that bank should just lose all their money.

Passing federal deposit insurance was one of FDR’s first acts during the Great Depression for a reason. That guarantee – that your money is safe in the bank – is at the bedrock of our modern economy.

This is not some intellectual exercise. This is the real world.

I dare anyone to explain to working families in Georgia or Florida or Pennsylvania or Colorado or any community that saw banks close their doors in the Great Recession that the FDIC insurance is “a hugely distorting factor,” as Judy Shelton wrote.

And don’t just take my word for it – people on both sides of the aisle agree that Judy Shelton has no business making huge decisions that will affect what kinds of jobs people can get and the interest rates on their mortgages and the power they have to negotiate for higher pay.

The New York Times and National Review both oppose her. So do conservative thinkers at the American Enterprise Institute. They use words like “dangerous” and a “gamble.”

Over a hundred experts – many of whom don’t even see the economy the way I do – warned against putting her on the Fed. Their basic concern was that she won’t do what’s good for workers and the economy. She’s a political hack.

The American people have had enough of gambling, they’ve made that very clear.

Now is not the time for fringe theories. We’re in a public health crisis and an economic crisis.

During her nomination hearing at the beginning of the year, one of my Republican colleagues asked her how she would get us out of a situation where consumer confidence and spending dropped, unemployment jumped from 3.5 percent to 6.5 percent in a very short period of time, and we were in a recession.

Judy Shelton couldn’t give us an answer.

Her response? “It is hard to imagine that situation.”

Think about that – “it’s hard to imagine that situation.”

Really? That’s supposed to be her whole job.

Every worker in America can imagine it now.

Today, things are much worse. When the pandemic set in, consumer spending plummeted and the unemployment rate shot up from 3.5 percent in February to nearly 15 percent in April.

Right now, eleven million people are out of work, coronavirus cases are skyrocketing all over the country, and the outgoing president has abandoned his job.

People have enough to worry about right now – the health of their loved ones, their jobs, their rent, their utility bills.

But Shelton is so out of touch, she can’t even imagine millions of families are living this reality every day.

With that kind of stress, Americans shouldn’t also have to also worry that fringe academics are running experiments with our national economy.  

People want peace of mind. They want stability. They want to have confidence that the people in charge can handle this crisis, so they can get back to their lives.

You can’t say you support working people and want to get them back to work and back to their paychecks, while at the same time putting someone in a position of authority who has no problem threatening their jobs and their savings to push a bizarre intellectual agenda.

In fact, at a time when unemployed Americans would love to be able to safely go to any job, Judy Shelton didn’t even show up for her last job – that’s not someone who understands workers’ lives.

My colleagues know she has no business on our central bank, just like you know Trump lost the election.

Americans have had enough of people who treat governing like a game.

We need to rise to meet this moment, and restore people’s faith in their government. Judy Shelton will make that harder.

We cannot allow Trump to keep sabotaging our government and economy from within, creating chaos wherever he can, especially after voters decisively rejected him by more than 5 million votes.

I urge all my colleagues to join me in opposing Judy Shelton’s nomination.

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