Thursday, December 17, 2009
As expected, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke sailed through the Senate Banking Committee phase of his re-confirmation process by a vote of 16-7, thus sending the matter to the full Senate for a final vote sometime in January.
Voting against re-confirmation were Democrat Jeff Merkley (OR) along with six of the ten Republicans on the committee - Richard Shelby (AL), Jim Bunning (KY), Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX), Mike Crapo (ID), David Vitter (LA), and Jim Demint (SC).
The discussion toward the end of today's meeting focused on whether or not it's possible for Bernanke to be re-confirmed in the full Senate before his term expires on January 31st and, if not, who gets to run the central bank.
In addition to "procedural holds" placed by a number of Senators, apparently the matter is further complicated by documents that the Fed has promised to deliver to the committee but that have not yet been provided, some of them regarding changes that the central bank would propose in lieu of the current audit legislation.