No path for Trump's Federal Reserve pick Cain as four Republicans oppose

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks in her office at the Capitol in Washington on Wednesday

Four senators from United States president Donald Trump's Republican party have said they would vote against one of his potential nominees for the Federal Reserve Board, Herman Cain.

Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Cory Gardner of Colorado and Kevin Cramer of North Dakota all said they would oppose Cain's appointment to the Fed.

Controversy over Cain's possible nomination, as well as that of economic commentator and Trump supporter Stephen Moore, continued on Thursday.

Powell briefed House Democrats in a closed-door session at their annual retreat on Thursday evening but declined to comment on Trump's candidates for the Fed, lawmakers said afterwards.

White House economic council director Larry Kudlow said on Thursday that the president was sticking by his decision to nominate Cain "at the moment". In 2015, he said that the Fed's crisis-era polices were "cheapening our dollar".

The president nominates members to the Fed's seven-member board of governors and Trump elevated Powell to chairman a year ago.

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Powell's appearance Thursday night at a Democratic retreat in Leesburg, Virginia, came as numerous lawmakers gathered there have raised alarms about the Fed's independence in the face of President Donald Trump's frequent criticisms of the central bank.

Moore, and fellow Trump nominee Herman Cain, a former restaurant chain executive, are battling for the two vacant seats on the Fed's Board of Governors, positions that would give them a say for years on interest-rate policy and bank regulation.

Trump initially called Cain "a very terrific man" who would "do very well there".

Cain ran for president in the 2012 Republican primary, but lost momentum amid accusations of sexual harassment, among other things. But he said earlier this week that he didn't know how Cain was faring in the vetting process and that Cain "will make that determination" whether to continue. Last week he tweeted his intention to name the former presidential hopeful, who heads a political action committee supporting Trump's agenda.

Asked about the controversy over the usually staid Fed, including statements by Cain and Moore in mainstream and social media, St. Louis Federal Reserve bank President James Bullard said the institution tends to "convert" people pretty quickly to its technocratic methods. The real problem here is that Moore and Cain are "transparently partisan" hacks.

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