Senate Confirms Yellen as Fed Chair

The United States Senate voted Monday to confirm Janet Yellen as chair of the Federal Reserve following Ben Bernanke’s departure at the end of January. She will be the first woman to take the job in the Fed’s history.

According to reports, Yellen’s nomination passed in a vote of 56-26.

Like her predecessor, Yellen seems to favor the strategy of keeping monetary policies loose as the economy works to get back on its feet—a position her opponents have criticized.

“I have deep concerns about the long-term effects of pursuing [current] policies,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) in a statement released Monday. “Historical evidence suggests that failing to rein in easy money policies on a timely basis risks fueling an economic bubble or even hyperinflation.”

Grassley added that while the Fed’s recent strategy has benefited the stock market, the rest of the country has yet to see major improvements, noting that “the Fed has a dismal record at being able to produce sustainable job creation through expansionary monetary policy.”

Still, she’s not without her supporters. Speaking at hernomination hearing before the Senate Banking Committee in November, Sen. Tim Johnson (D-South Dakota) pointed to her “extensive and impressive career in public service and academia” as proof of her qualifications.

“We need [Yellen’s] expertise at the helm of the Fed as our nation continues to recover from the Great Recession, completes Wall Street Reform rulemakings, and continues to enhance the stability of our financial sector,” he said at the time. “I am excited to cast my vote to confirm her as the first woman to serve as Chair of the Federal Reserve.”

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