Fed Chairman Wins Key Vote, Clearing Way for Confirmation
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke won a key procedural vote in the Senate, clearing the way for his confirmation for a second term running the world's most powerful central bank.
The Senate is now moving to final confirming vote.
Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Ben Bernanke
Bernanke was expected to win the Senate's backing despite the stiffest opposition to any nominee for Fed chairman in the nearly 32 years the Senate has voted on the position.
Senators debating his nomination credited Bernanke with steering the U.S. economy through a wrenching financial crisis but leveled withering criticism at him for policies they argued sowed seeds for the turmoil and for an initial slow response.
"Bernanke fiddled while our markets burned," said Senator Richard Shelby, the top Republican on the Senate Banking Committee.
While Bernanke appears to have survived a revolt by lawmakers responding to a surge of public anger at big banks and their regulators, including the Fed, he still faces acute political pressure to ease economic strains.