The Senate failed to advance the nomination of Judy Shelton to the Federal Reserve Board — further complicating what was an already rocky confirmation process.
Shelton, a longtime Fed critic who favors a return to the gold standard, was blocked in a 50-47 vote that was shaken up by some GOP senators being absent and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris making a return to the Senate floor.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) needed just 50 Republicans to vote in favor of Shelton to move her nomination forward.
The upper house of Congress currently has a 53-47 GOP majority, meaning that McConnell could afford to lose three votes to push Shelton through. If a 50-50 tie emerged, Vice President Pence would be able to vote in favor and break the tie.
McConnell was dealt multiple blows ahead of the vote. Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) all vowed to opposed Shelton.
Then, Sens. Chuck Grassley