Will Yellen Finally Be Confirmed as Fed Chair?
Janet Yellen has been awaiting her confirmation vote for quite some time now, set to replace current Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke on February 1. Congress has faced a number of stumbling blocks, including running out of time on December 20 and the constant vote blocks in the days before the late December date.
Senate Democrats pushed through an anti-filibuster rule change to break the standoff over nominated candidates for jobs including but not limited to Yellen’s position. According to The Wall Street Journal, senators on both sides of the aisle have voiced confidence in Yellen’s impending confirmation.
Still, not everyone thinks the vote will be a walk in the park, and many Republicans probably won’t be on board. “Her final confirmation vote will likely be the closest in history, as most Republicans will vote against [her]. But she has a minimum of 55 Democrats, five more than she needs,” Chris Kreuger, a policy analyst in Washington, said to the Los Angeles Times.
The confirmation hearing comes at an important time for the Fed, with the recent vote to taper the bond-buying stimulus program from its previous $85 billion to $75 billion per month. Bernanke recently spoke on his coming departure as chair of the central bank, saying that after two terms, there are still things that need to be done. “The recovery clearly remains incomplete,” said Bernanke, per CNN.
It has been a period of heavy Federal Reserve involvement in the economy after the 2008 financial crisis and the Great Recession. The continued need for strong policy decisions places Yellen in a crucial role should the vote go as well as most seem to expect, despite some Republican misgivings.