Friday, January 22, 2010

It's Real Close for Bernanke

If there is a vote to confirm Fed chairman Ben Bernanke for a second term, it's going to be real close, though, who knows what President Obama, Joe Biden and Tim Geithner were discussing with Paul Volcker, in the Oval Office yesterday.

WSJ has a solid up to the minute picture of the current vote status in the Senate for Bernanke:
Ben Bernanke's confirmation for a second term as Federal Reserve chairman will go down to the wire and could be a closer vote than seemed likely just a few weeks ago.

Mr. Bernanke's current term as Fed chairman expires at the end of the month, and a Senate confirmation vote has been pushed off until next week at the earliest. Mr. Bernanke met with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Thursday as Democratic and Republican leaders surveyed senators to tally votes on the nomination. Mr. Bernanke needs 60 supporters to win approval for another four-year term.

"A few Democrats have publicly said they won't vote for Mr. Bernanke's appointment, so you need Republican support," said Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin (D., Ill.).
Two Democrats, Sens. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota and Jeff Merkley of Oregon, say they plan to vote against the nomination. Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent who votes with Democrats, has led the charge from the left against Mr. Bernanke and also plans a "no" vote.
In an interview, Mr. Sanders said other Democratic senators—who haven't indicated their intent publicly—also planned to vote against the nomination to signal displeasure with the Fed's handling of the financial crisis and Wall Street.

"You're beginning to see, maybe this vote is kind of symbolic of one's attitude toward Wall Street, and whether or not we're going to stand up to them and move it in a new direction with new leadership, or whether we keep up the same old same old," Mr. Sanders said.

Mr. Reid was preparing to file for cloture on the nomination—a procedural move to block a potential filibuster—as early as this week, setting the stage for a full Senate vote. A Reid spokeswoman said the Senate was focused first on legislation to raise the federal debt ceiling, and still hopes to consider the Bernanke nomination by the end of the month.

Under Senate rules, a cloture vote, requiring 60 senators to limit debate on the nomination, would come two calendar days after cloture is filed. That vote, which could come as early as Monday, would be the key vote for Mr. Bernanke. A final vote, following up to 30 hours of debate, requires a simple majority.

Mr. Sanders and Republican Sens. Jim Bunning of Kentucky, Jim DeMint of South Carolina and David Vitter of Louisiana have vowed to block the Bernanke nomination.

Read the rest here.

1 comment:

  1. Makes you wonder what would happene if Geitner had to be re-appointed.