WASHINGTON — Judy Shelton, President Trump’s nominee for the Federal Reserve, faced tough questioning from lawmakers over whether she would protect the Fed’s independence during a tense confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday.
Skepticism toward Ms. Shelton appeared to be bipartisan, with Democrats suggesting she might be politically tied to Mr. Trump and some Republicans questioning her monetary views.
Ms. Shelton, 65, has been a controversial pick for the job. She has a history of supporting the gold standard, has questioned the need for the Fed, and has changed her policy views significantly since Mr. Trump, for whom she served as an unofficial campaign adviser, came into office.
Senator Mike Crapo, the Idaho Republican who chairs the committee, sought to portray Ms. Shelton as a solid pick for diversity who would defend Fed independence despite her ties to Mr. Trump. Democrats quizzed her on whether she felt Mr. Trump’s frequent attacks on Jerome H. Powell, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, are inappropriate.
“Frankly, no one tells me what to do,” Ms. Shelton said at one point. “I don’t think it’s the job of the Federal Reserve to accommodate political agendas” and “the Fed operates independently, as it should.”
But she indicated that she did not have a problem with Mr. Trump’s frequent criticisms of Mr. Powell. The president regularly blasts the Fed Chair on Twitter and in public remarks, faulting him for not doing more to boost the economy and pushing him to cut interest rates more aggressively.
“I do believe that every American, every member of Congress”