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The former vice president did not specify if Shelton would be in the running for Powell’s job or for another seat on the Board of Governors. Image Credit: REUTERS

Washington: Mike Pence said if he is elected president he wouldn’t reappoint Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell when his term expires in 2026, and floated economist Judy Shelton for the central bank’s board.

“Jerome Powell’s time is over,” Pence said Friday at The Gathering, a conservative forum in Atlanta hosted by radio host Erick Erickson. “I’d love to see somebody like Judy Shelton appointed to the Federal Reserve. You can Google it later and find out how good she is. Trust me.”

The former vice president did not specify if Shelton would be in the running for Powell’s job or for another seat on the Board of Governors. Asked to clarify the remarks, Pence adviser Marc Short said: “I think it’s safe to connect the two.”

Shelton, a controversial conservative economist, was nominated to the Fed in 2020 by Pence’s onetime boss, then-President Donald Trump, but failed to garner enough support in the Senate. Trump again nominated Shelton in 2021 in his last days in office.

Shelton was a former informal adviser to Trump and known for her push to return the US to the gold standard, hawkish views on inflation and opposition to federal deposit insurance. As a candidate for a Fed post, she sought to abandon those positions, sparking further controversy.

“I was very proud to be nominated for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System by President Trump and grateful for the support of Vice President Pence, who has long supported the need for sound money,” Shelton said in a statement to Bloomberg News.

Shelton said it was good that candidates were “commenting on the appropriate role of a central bank in a free-enterprise economy and proposing reforms for the Fed.”

“I applaud President Trump’s comments regarding the importance of the US dollar as a dependable monetary standard worthy of being recognized as the most trusted currency in the world,” she said.

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Fed Chair Powell has come under fire from many Republican presidential candidates.

Trump appointed Powell to lead the Federal Reserve but soured on him within months, saying he believed the central bank went too far in raising rates. In office, Trump broke with an unwritten tradition of the White House largely not commenting on Fed policies, publicly criticizing the chairman.

On Thursday, Trump said in an interview with Fox Business that he would not reappoint Powell if elected.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the runner-up to Trump in the GOP primary race, told CNBC this week he wouldn’t renominate Powell.

Pence said Friday that quantitative easing under Powell set the stage for “the worst inflation in 40 years.” The former vice president has long called for an end to the Fed’s dual mandate, saying job creation should be left to Congress and the White House.

“I believe the time has come for us to end the dual mandate of the Fed and say that the Federal Reserve ought to be focused exclusively on the integrity of the dollar, fighting against inflation,” Pence said.