Stephen Moore’s prospects of getting confirmed to the Federal Reserve Board grew dimmer Wednesday as Trump administration officials began to acknowledge privately he does not have the votes and Republican senators indicated the ensuing drama over Moore’s pending nomination would end soon, Washington Post reported.
Moore, whom President Donald Trump has floated for an open seat at the powerful U.S. central bank, has faced escalating criticism from Senate Republicans this week, primarily because of his past writings disparaging women. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) has already said she probably would oppose him, while several other GOP senators have expressed concerns and have privately indicated they prefer he never be officially nominated, the Post adds.
Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) said in an interview Wednesday that he expects more information about Moore’s fate by the end of the week and that trying to confirm him in the Senate, where Republicans control 53 votes, would be a “very heavy lift.”
“I think there will be probably some more information about that nomination in the next day or so. I think he’s gotten enough feedback from the people up here that his nomination is in trouble,” Thune said.
Thune, the party’s chief vote-counter in the Senate, said he could not predict what Moore or the administration ultimately decides on his pending nomination. But two GOP senators familiar with party dynamics, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, said they expect either Moore to withdraw or the White House to cancel his pending nomination by either Thursday or Friday, the Post adds.
Meanwhile, there is a growing awareness among some senior administration officials that Moore has no chance to win Senate confirmation, but a decision has not been made on the timing of any announcement. On Wednesday, Moore resisted any notion he would step aside, telling The Washington Post: “Full speed ahead.”
Moore has come under a firestorm of criticism for his past writings and comments, in which he argued there would be societal problems if men were not the family breadwinners, complained about women in sports and derided women in combat. He now explains them as “humor columns” and has said he regrets having written them, the Post noted.