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Cain’s Fed chances in peril as fourth Republican opposes Trump pick

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Cain's Fed chances in peril as fourth Republican opposes Trump pick

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s expected nomination of former pizza chain executive Herman Cain to the Federal Reserve appeared in jeopardy on Thursday after a fourth Republican senator voiced opposition, possibly denying Cain the support needed to be confirmed in the post.

FILE PHOTO: Former presidential candidate Herman Cain arrives at a rally for U.S. Republican presidential candidate and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich in Tampa, Florida January 30, 2012. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo

“If I had to vote today, I would vote no,” Senator Kevin Cramer said in a statement.

If all of the Senate’s Democrats and the two independents aligned with them were to vote against Cain, he would fall short of the majority support he needs.

Cain could not be reached for comment.

Senators Mitt Romney, Lisa Murkowski and Cory Gardner, all Republicans, have each reportedly said they would vote against Cain if he is nominated. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday withheld comment on whether he would support Cain, saying he will wait to see “who is actually nominated.”

Economists and critics have expressed concerns about loyalists of Republican Trump serving on the traditionally nonpartisan central bank.

Cain has been a public advocate of many of Trump’s policies, as has Stephen Moore, another person Trump has said he wants to nominate. Neither nomination has been formally sent to the Senate.

On Facebook earlier this week, Cain said the reason he was under attack as a nominee is because he is a conservative. Cain’s bid for president in 2012 was derailed by accusations of sexual harassment that he has repeatedly denied.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said earlier on Thursday that Trump intends to proceed with his plan to name Cain to the Fed’s board of governors.

“I like Herman Cain,” Trump told reporters on Wednesday. “As to how he’s doing in the process, that I don’t know … Herman is a great guy and I hope he does well.”

The president nominates members to the Fed’s seven-member board of governors. He elevated Jerome Powell to chairman a year ago but has frequently criticized him for the Fed’s interest rate increases.

The nominations must be approved by the Senate. The central bank’s other top policymakers head the Fed’s 12 regional banks and are chosen by local boards of directors, not the president.

Trump has slammed the central bank’s 2018 rate hikes for thwarting economic growth and publicly pressed policymakers to change course.

Central bank independence from short-term politics is seen as important to prevent influence that could lead to runaway debt, hyperinflation and financial instability. The issue is a topic of conversation at the meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Washington this week.

“Undermining central bank independence would be dangerous,” Tobias Adrian, director of the International Monetary Fund’s monetary and capital markets department, said in an interview on Wednesday with Bloomberg News.

Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; additional reporting by Tim Ahmann, Richard Cowan, Howard Schneider and Jeff Mason; editing by Grant McCool, Dan Grebler and Lisa Shumaker

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Hundreds of decks of playing cards arrive for Washington state lawmaker who criticized nurses

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Washington state lawmaker riles nurses by saying that some spend 'considerable' time playing cards

The Washington state senator who suggested that some nurses “play cards” during a “considerable” portion of their shifts received more than 600 packages of playing cards Tuesday as backlash over her remarks continued to grow.

The United Parcel Service location in Tumwater, Wash., said that it received 667 packages of playing cards addressed to state Sen. Maureen Walsh, R-Walla Walla, after an open letter criticizing her remarks circulated on Facebook last week and included Walsh’s P.O. box address, Seattle’s KOMO-TV reported.

“You said that not all nurses deserve breaks as they just sit around playing cards while on shift anyway,” the letter read. “I know nurses who can go all night without food or a bathroom break. I know nurses with nerve damage and back pain from doing whatever it takes to take care of patients. I know nurses who cry in their cars. Do you think that’s where they play cards, Senator Walsh?”

WASHINGTON STATE LAWMAKER RILES NURSES BY SAYING SOME SPEND ‘CONSIDERABLE’ TIME PLAYING CARDS

Washington state Sen. Maureen Walsh, R-Walla Walla, angered nurses by commenting in a speech that some nurses may spend a lot of time playing cards in rural hospitals. (Associated Press)

Washington state Sen. Maureen Walsh, R-Walla Walla, angered nurses by commenting in a speech that some nurses may spend a lot of time playing cards in rural hospitals. (Associated Press)

The letter went on to predict that after the next election cycle Walsh may find herself with “plenty of time to play cards and plenty of cards to play with.”

Walsh first drew criticism from nursing professionals while debating a bill last week that would require uninterrupted meal and rest breaks for nurses and would also provide mandatory overtime protections for them.

She pushed for an amendment that would exclude hospitals with fewer than 25 beds from the provision, arguing that such small facilities struggle to provide 24-hour care as it is.

“I would submit to you that those (small hospital) nurses probably do get breaks,” Walsh said. “They probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day.”

Despite the bill being passed with Walsh’s amendment, her ill-received comments sparked a flurry of social media posts mocking her.

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Walsh addressed the issue Monday, apologizing to those who were offended and saying she would spend a day shadowing a nurse throughout his or her 12-hour shift.

“I want to offer my heartfelt apologies to those I offended with my comments on the Senate floor last Tuesday. I was tired, and in the heat of argument on the Senate floor, I said some things about nurses that were taken out of context – but still they crossed the line.”

In 2012, some comments by Walsh on a different subject also went viral, the News Tribune of Tacoma reported. That year Walsh bucked most other members of the state GOP by speaking out in support of same-sex marriage. The state’s House subsequently backed a bill to legalize same-sex marriage.

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Bernie Sanders wrong about prisoners and voting, ex-con released under Trump reform law says

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Bernie Sanders wrong about prisoners and voting, ex-con released under Trump reform law says

The first man released from prison under President Trump’s criminal justice reform law reacted to Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., saying that prisoners should be permitted to vote by noting the “logistical” problems of allowing prisoners serving a sentence to vote and backing prisoners who served their time to have their rights restored.

“I do know while you’re incarcerated you do lose some of your liberties. But my thing is, once a person has been completely released and they paid their debt to society and they are back in society actually functioning, paying taxes, then they should have their rights restored to vote,” Matthew Charles, who was released from prison under the First Step Act, said on Fox News’  “The Story with Martha MacCallum.”

KAMALA HARRIS BACKTRACKS, NOW SAYS CRIMINALS LIKE BOSTON BOMBER ‘SHOULD BE DEPRIVED’ OF RIGHT TO VOTE

“But during the period they’re incarcerated, it’s going to be like a complex issue because of the logistics. You got people incarcerated in states that they actually are not from.”

Sanders opened himself to scrutiny this week after saying that not only should incarcerated prisoners be permitted to vote but that Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should also be permitted to vote.

“If somebody commits a serious crime, sexual assault, murder, they will be punished. But I think the right to vote is inherent to our democracy. Yes, even for terrible people,” Sanders said Monday on a CNN Town Hall.

Trump’s re-election campaign called out Sanders Wednesday, describing his idea “deeply offensive.”

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“The extremity and radicalism of the 2020 Democrats knows no bounds,” Trump campaign press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told Fox News.

“Giving imprisoned terrorists, sex offenders, and murderers the right to vote is an outrageous proposal that is deeply offensive to innocent victims across this country, some of whom lost their lives and are forever disenfranchised by the very killers that 2020 Democrats seek to empower,” she said.

Fox News’ Sally Persons and Alex Pappas contributed to this report.

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George Conway praises Hillary Clinton for her op-ed on Mueller probe: ‘I’m with her’

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George Conway calls Trump a cancer that needs to be removed in blistering op-ed

The husband of top White House official Kellyanne Conway expressed solidarity with Hillary Clinton after the former secretary of state wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post urging Congress to pursue the findings from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, telling his followers on Twitter, “I’m with her.”

In the piece published Wednesday afternoon, Clinton called for holding President Trump “accountable for obstructing the investigation and possibly breaking the law” but insisted that choosing between “immediate impeachment or nothing” was a “false choice.” She also referred to the Mueller report as “road map” for Congress.

“It’s up to members of both parties to see where that road map leads — to the eventual filing of articles of impeachment, or not,” Clinton wrote. “Either way, the nation’s interests will be best served by putting party and political considerations aside and being deliberate, fair and fearless.”

George Conway, who has made a name for himself as an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump, praised the 2016 presidential candidate on Twitter and highlighted a portion from her op-ed, where she acknowledged that some may say she’s “not the right messenger.”

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“Perhaps so. Probably so. But if she’s with the Constitution, I’m with her,” Conway tweeted.

Conway regularly slams the president and repeatedly has questioned his mental fitness. The president fired back on Twitter last month.

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