Fed Nominee Shelton Faces Tough Questioning Before Senate Committee


“You never go back, with money,” Ms. Shelton said during the hearing, suggesting she was surprised that people portrayed her as supporting a return to a traditional gold standard. At one point, Ms. Shelton said that she “would not advocate going back to a prior historical monetary arrangement.”

In 2009, Ms. Shelton started a Wall Street Journal editorial with the line: “Let’s go back to the gold standard.”

Senator Patrick J. Toomey, Republican of Pennsylvania, called Ms. Shelton’s view that the Fed should pay attention to foreign exchange rates “dangerous.”

“I remain concerned,” he told reporters outside of the hearing, saying that he has not yet made up his mind on Ms. Shelton’s nomination. He said he would be willing to oppose one of Mr. Trump’s nominees if he thinks the “nominee is unsuitable for the job.”

Following the hearing, Senators John Kennedy, Republican of Louisiana, and Richard C. Shelby, Republican of Alabama, told reporters that they were undecided about Ms. Shelton, but Mr. Shelby sounded especially doubtful.

“I’m concerned,” Mr. Shelby said, when asked if he was leaning one way or the other.

Ms. Shelton has been a longtime critic of the type of policies the Fed undertook during the last recession to reinvigorate the economy, including lowering rates to near zero and purchasing large quantities of government-backed securities, often called quantitative easing or Q.E. She has blamed those efforts, which were intended to lower borrowing costs and encourage investment, for rising inequality.

During the hearing, Mr. Kennedy asked both nominees what they would do in the event of a serious recession, and pushed Ms. Shelton in particular.

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