US Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke, Time magazine's "person of the year", has received the support of the Senate Banking Committee to stand for a second term. Bernanke's nomination will go to full Senate vote after the holiday recess.
AFP - The US Senate Banking Committee on Thursday voted in favor of confirming Ben Bernanke to a second term as Federal Reserve chief, despite sharp attacks on his role in the 2008 global financial meltdown.
The panel's 16-7 vote sent his nomination to the full Senate, where a platoon of lawmakers from both major US parties have vowed to do their utmost to deny him another four-year tenure at the head of the US central bank.
Bernanke, 55, was expected ultimately to be confirmed, despite criticism from Democrats that he cared more about Wall Street than Main Street and from Republicans that he favored improper government meddling in the economy.
His supporters credit him with sweeping efforts that saved the global financial system from complete collapse.
Before the vote, some of his critics poked fun at Time magazine's decision to name him "person of the year" for 2009.
Bernanke "may wonder if he really wants to be honored by an organization that has previously named people like Joseph Stalin, Yasser Arafat, Adolf Hitler, the Ayatollah Khomeini, and Vladimir Putin as their Person of the Year," said Republican Senator Jim Bunning.
"But I congratulate him and hope he at least turns out better than those guys," he said.
Independent Senator Bernie Sanders, who usually sides with Democrats, said Wednesday he would work to block Bernanke and urged President Barack Obama to pick someone else.
Date created : 2009-12-17