Economic Policy Has Become a Partisan Game. That Could Do Long-Term Harm.

It created the looks that she was a partisan actor who, quite than apply a constant philosophy to attempt to make the American financial system as wholesome as it may be, would pivot on a dime to attempt to strengthen the financial system throughout a Republican administration and sluggish it in a Democratic one.

On Tuesday, in a dramatic second, with Senator Kamala Harris (now additionally the vice president- elect) racing to Washington and two Republican senators rendered unavailable for coronavirus-related causes, Ms. Shelton fell simply wanting the votes wanted to place her on observe to hitch the Fed’s board of governors.

There isn’t any trendy precedent for a president to attempt to fill Fed governor seats whereas a lame duck, and if confirmed Ms. Shelton can be the primary Fed governor to take workplace with out affirmation votes from the other social gathering. (The Senate nonetheless has time to verify her, however the math is tenuous.)

To Democrats, the last-ditch effort to verify Ms. Shelton implied not solely that Mr. Biden would have one much less essential financial coverage appointment to make, but in addition that he might need to take care of a policymaker in search of to undermine his administration from throughout the central financial institution. (Mr. Trump has additionally nominated a second Fed governor, Christopher Waller, who could be confirmed earlier than Mr. Biden takes workplace — although he falls extra squarely within the custom of Fed governors with technocratic independence, and has attracted some Democratic assist.)

Only a dozen years in the past, contemplate what occurred through the transition from George W. Bush to President Obama. The financial system was within the worst part of the worldwide monetary disaster, and President Bush had secured a $700 billion monetary rescue bundle from Congress simply earlier than the election.

That financial institution rescue, often called the Troubled Asset Relief Program, was divided into two $350 billion tranches, with the president required to ask Congress for the second tranche to acquire it. Not solely did President Bush not attempt to block the Obama workforce from gaining access to the bailout money upon taking workplace, however at Mr. Obama’s request he additionally took the politically unpopular step of requesting the second tranche in January 2009, days earlier than Mr. Obama was inaugurated.

That step helped maintain a bipartisan gloss on the monetary rescue, gave the Obama administration entry to the funds sooner quite than later, and enabled Mr. Obama to take workplace with out making one in all his first actions the politically poisonous act of asking for extra financial institution bailout money.


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