The Senate Banking committee has approved the nomination of Fed chairman Ben Bernanke to a second term in a 16-7 vote.
Voting against him were Republicans Shelby, Bennett, Bunning, Crapo, DeMint, Vitter, and Hutchison, and Democrat Jeff Merkley of Oregon. Merkel has cited Bernanke’s apparent concern for Wall Street over Main Street as the basis for his opposition, which more or less squares with the Republicans’ motivations. The Republicans, in general, are also more worried about inflation, but Bunning for one has criticized the Bernanke Fed for its actions in bailing out AIG and the lack of transparency in that transaction.
Bunning, notably, was the only Senator to go on the record as opposing Bernanke’s confirmation in 2005, when he was approved with a voice vote. It’s interesting to see that in the intervening period the Bush-nominated Bernanke has earned himself opposition that, while bipartisan, skews heavily Republican.
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