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Bernanke confirmation runs into resistance in Senate

Some key lawmakers in the Senate are saying they will vote against the Bernanke confirmation. The Fed chairman’s term expires at the end of this month.

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The reappointment of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, whose term expires at the end of this month, has unexpectedly bogged down in the US Senate.

Although many Fed observers still expect Mr. Bernanke to be confirmed for another term next week, some key senators are now announcing they will vote against him.

The anti-Bernanke senators say that the Fed failed to police the banks. Some Democrats complain that Bernanke was appointed by the Bush administration, which they want to blame for the economic collapse.

To some supporters of Bernanke – an authority on the Depression – the opposition is an example of how Democrats are reacting to the Scott Brown victory in Massachusetts. The Bernanke backers, meanwhile, say that he saved the US economy from an even worse downturn and deserves reappointment.

The brouhaha over Bernanke’s nomination comes right before the Fed meets to vote on interest-rate policy next Wednesday. America’s central bank is expected to leave short-term interest-rate policy unchanged.

It’s not clear if the vote on Bernanke will take place by then.

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