The Senate voted 70-30 to reappoint Ben Bernanke for a second four-year term as chairman of the Federal Reserve.
Earlier, senators voted 77-23 to end debate, clearing the way for a final vote. During more than two hours of debate on the Senate floor, Bernanke backers warned that voting him down risked sparking turmoil in U.S. and foreign markets and thwarting a budding economic recovery. They said the Fed chairman deserved an opportunity to finish what he started.
Critics assailed him for his record ahead of the crisis, from bank supervision to mortgage regulation to the financial rescue. “Bernanke fiddled while our markets burned,” said Republican Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, the senior Republican on the Senate Banking Committee. “I believe that it is the duty of this body to hold accountable those regulators whose poor oversight of our financial institutions and markets helped produce the greatest economic crisis this country has experienced in eighty years.”
Republican Sen. Jim Bunning, one of Mr. Bernanke’s fiercest critics, said “a vote for Ben Bernanke is a vote for bailouts,” and added, “If you want to put an end to bailouts and send a message to Wall Street, this vote is your chance,” he said.
Jim DeMint (R-SC) had this to day at the re-confirmation hearing today:
And Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said this:
It isn’t often these two men agree on something and for good reason: Sanders is a self-described socialist and DeMint is a conservative Republican. However, both of these men today represented the People of the United States to the best of their ability. What Bernanke and his cohorts have done is criminal. It has been nothing short of the orchestrated theft of taxpayer dollars to prop up insolvent institutions; the very same institutions that caused this mess in the first place.
FedUpUSA says thank you to Senator Bernie Sanders and Senator Jim DeMint, along with the 30 other Senators that voted Nay today.