LEESBURG, Va. — Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday sharply criticized President Donald Trump’s planned picks for the Federal Reserve, Herman Cain and Stephen Moore, warning that the hyperpartisan duo would be “dangerous” for the economy.
“With stiff competition, these two appointments to the Fed are the worst, ill-suited appointments that the president could come up with,” Pelosi told reporters at a news briefing on the second day of the House Democratic Caucus retreat. “There are so many bridges too far here, but this is a really dangerous one.”
Democrats and Republicans alike have skewered Cain, a former pizza magnate, and Moore, a former member of the Wall Street Journal editorial board, to the central bank’s coveted board of governors.
The stakes are high, Democrats argue, because Trump has repeatedly lashed out Chairman Jerome Powell on Twitter for hiking interest rates and has reportedly threatened to fire him.
“It’s not clear to me whether that’s reality or a ‘Saturday Night Live’ skit,” House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries told reporters Thursday morning. “It’s an embarrassment and the likelihood is that they will be withdrawn.”
Powell will speak to House Democrats in a closed-door session later Thursday at which they’ve said they want him to talk about “kitchen table” economic issues. But they’re also likely to bring up Trump’s intentions to swing the board’s governors to his favor.
Adding close Trump allies to the seven-member board would dramatically reshape the traditionally nonpolitical institution. But Trump’s picks — with little monetary policy experience but a lot of political baggage — have distressed Republican lawmakers, muddying the path forward in the Senate.
“When you have two people totally ill-suited, unqualified for the position because they may just go in and say, ‘The president wants an increase in rates so we’re here to do that,’” Pelosi said. “Thank God, Chairman Powell is there.”
Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine