Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Banking Committee Member Judd Gregg (R-NH) issued a joint statement on Saturday, expressing their confidence that despite substantial opposition in the Senate against President Obama’s nomination of Ben Bernanke to a second term as the Federal Reserve chairman, he will be confirmed.
“In the last few days there have been a flurry of media reports on Chairman Bernanke’s confirmation prospects, highlighting a very vocal opposition”, the statement said. “Chairman Bernanke has done an excellent job responding to one of the most significant financial crises our country has ever encountered. We support his nomination because he is the right leader to guide the Federal Reserve in this recovering economy. Based on our discussions with our colleagues, we are very confident that Chairman Bernanke will win confirmation by the Senate for a second term.”
Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts and Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois — issued also separate endorsements of Mr. Benanke’s reconfirmation on Saturday.
Mr. Kerry, acknowledging many Americans’ anger about the massive bailouts of the big banks, said, [NYT]: “It’s understandable why there is debate, questioning and even anger” about Mr. Bernanke’s renomination.
“Still”, he added, “out of this near calamity, I believe Chairman Bernanke provided leadership that was urgent, nimble, strong and vital in staving off greater disaster.”
Also on Saturday, White House and Congressional Democratic leaders — according to the NYT — said they now have the 60 votes needed to block a filibuster of Mr. Bernanke’s reconfirmation as Fed chairman. They expect some Democrats will oppose him on the reappointment vote, but that requires only 50 votes.
Mr. Bernanke’s term as Fed chairman expires Jan. 31