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The seal for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System is displayed in Washington, U.S., June 14, 2017. REUTERS...

Trump chooses Waller and Shelton for Federal Reserve board vacancies

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Tuesday on Twitter that he will nominate economists Christopher Waller and Judy Shelton to fill two influential positions on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.

Waller is executive vice president and research director at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, where he has worked since 2009. Shelton is the U.S. executive director for the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development. She was previously an economic adviser to Trump’s presidential campaign.

Each would have to be confirmed by the Senate.

Trump’s choices come after he has harshly and repeatedly criticized the Fed under Chair Jerome Powell for choosing not to cut interest rates. Trump has argued that the Fed, by keeping its benchmark rate in a range of 2.25 percent to 2.5 percent, is slowing economic growth.

This spring, Trump floated former presidential candidate Herman Cain and conservative commentator Stephen Moore as potential nominees. But Cain withdrew from consideration after allegations of sexual harassment and infidelity, first aired during his 2012 presidential run, resurfaced. Moore was dropped in the face of Republican opposition in the Senate after news organizations unearthed many of his writings belittling women.

Shelton has a history of attacking the Fed’s policies and has also supported the gold standard, under which the value of currencies like the dollar are fixed to a specific amount of gold. Most mainstream economists who study monetary policy reject the gold standard as antiquated.

Shelton has expressed support for cutting rates, as Trump has demanded. Waller’s approach to interest rate policy is less clear

Waller, before joining the St. Louis Fed, was an economics professor at the University of Notre Dame for six years, and before that a professor at the University of Kentucky.