Thursday, December 3, 2009

HOT: At Least One More Block Coming to Bernanke Reconfirmation

FireDogLake is reporting that at least one Republican, possibly two, will join socialist-Independent Bernie Sanders in putting a hold on the confirmation of Ben Bernanke to a second term as Fed chairman. David Dayen at FDL has the details:
As Ben Bernanke’s confirmation hearing begins in the Senate Banking Committee, a source tells FDL News that one Senate staffer and an outside source confirmed to him that at least one Republican on the committee will also place a hold on the Federal Reserve chairman, throwing the process into potential turmoil and giving Chris Dodd a difficult series of choices to make...

The source, speaking on condition of anonymity because of his work behind the scenes on the Bernanke confirmation, told me that two separate sources assured him that the Republican hold would be made public after today’s hearing.One staffer said that two Republicans would place the hold, while the other said it would just be one. The source said that the trans-partisan nature of opposition to Bernanke, with a conservative Republican and a socialist independent uniting to block the appointment, shows the intensity of the feelings on the issue. “It’s great to see everyone come together – Democrats, Republicans, progressives and libertarians, against this Federal Reserve, which is not federal, and not a reserve, just a group printing money and giving it to their buddies,” the source said..

While most people think that the multiple holds would delay the process, it’s unclear whether or not it would succeed. Dodd would probably have the discretion to roll over the hold in committee, though he may be reluctant to do so, experts in Senate procedure said. Harry Reid could also seek cloture on the motion to proceed on Bernanke’s nomination on the floor, which would require 60 votes.
Polls are not helping Bernanke here. The latest Rasmussen poll shows that 41% of Americans think President Obama should name someone new to the post.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only 21% of adults believe the president should reappoint Bernanke to another four-year term. But a sizable 39% aren’t sure what the president should do.

Republicans are more strongly opposed to Bernanke’s reappointment than Democrats and adults not affiliated with either of the major parties. However, investors support a second term for Bernanke by more than two-to-one over non-investors.

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