The Senate Banking Committee on Thursday approved the nomination of Janet Yellen to take over the Federal Reserve.
Yellen was approved in a vote of 14 to 8, garnering the support of 11 of the panel’s 12 Democrats, as well as three Republicans: Sens. Bob Corker (Tenn.), Tom Coburn (Okla.) and Mark Kirk (Ill.).
The remaining seven Republicans on the panel opposed the nomination, as did Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).
The bipartisan vote indicates that Yellen should face little trouble receiving full confirmation by the Senate. If confirmed, Yellen would take over for current Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and become the first female head of the world’s leading economic institution.
However, the relatively strong GOP resistance to the pick, even among members who acknowledge her qualifications, suggests Yellen could set a new low in terms of Senate support for a Fed nominee. Bernanke received only 70 votes for his second term in 2010, the lowest rate of support ever for a Fed chairman.
Debate over the central bank has grown more partisan since then, as several high-profile Republicans, like Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), have assailed the central bank’s policies.
Manchin surprised many when he cast a vote opposing Yellen, separating him from his Senate Democratic colleagues. He did not offer an immediate explanation for the vote, although he did tell Yellen during her confirmation hearing that they disagreed on policy.
The vote to back Yellen, the current vice chairwoman of the Fed, came exactly one week after she testified before the banking panel on her nomination. Chairman Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) called her a “model candidate” to lead the Fed.
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