The confirmation of Ben S. Bernanke to a second four-year term as chairman of the Federal Reserve ran into further trouble on Friday, as two more Democratic senators said they would vote against him.Russ Feingold's reasoning is far better than Barbara Boxer's. Her reasoning is populist and naive. I am glad they both oppose Bernanke's reappointment, however.
The White House came to Mr. Bernanke’s defense Friday, but the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, is believed to be struggling to come up with the 60 votes necessary to confirm Mr. Bernanke before his term as chairman expires on Jan. 31.
In a statement Friday morning, Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California, came out against Mr. Bernanke, who was named to his post during the Bush administration. She said she had “a lot of respect” for him and praised him for preventing the economic crisis from getting even worse. “However, it is time for a change,” she said. “It is time for Main Street to have a champion at the Fed.”
“Our next Federal Reserve chairman must represent a clean break from the failed policies of the past,” Ms. Boxer said.
Another Democratic senator, Russell D. Feingold of Wisconsin, also announced Friday that he would vote against Mr. Bernanke.
“Under the watch of Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve permitted grossly irresponsible financial activities that led to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression,” Mr. Feingold said in a statement.
Because several senators are using procedural methods to try to block Mr. Bernanke from serving another term, it will require 60 votes for him to be confirmed. Congressional Democrats said they do not have a firm sense of how many votes Mr. Bernanke can count on, and Mr. Reid has not scheduled a vote.
If President Obama needs a last minute replacement, I hear former Fed chairman Paul Volcker is still alive and kicking.