Five Senate Republicans Back Yellen for U.S. Fed


yellen-janetFive Senate Republicans say they probably will support Janet Yellen to be chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, which should give her the 60 votes she needs to be confirmed.

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The Senate Banking Committee plans to vote today on advancing Yellen’s nomination.

Republican Bob Corker of Tennessee said yesterday he would support her. Fellow Republicans Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, Susan Collins of Maine, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Orrin Hatch of Utah also said in interviews this week that they were inclined to back Yellen when the nomination comes to the Senate floor, which may occur the week of Dec. 9.

“In the end, I do believe she has the qualifications necessary to be the Fed chairman and plan to support her nomination,” Corker said in a news release.

Corker’s support would give Yellen the 60 votes needed to overcome a procedural obstacle and win confirmation. Democrats, who control 55 seats in the Senate, are united behind her, which means support from at least five Republicans is needed to overcome opponents’ attempts to thwart her confirmation.

“I’m inclined to,” Coburn said in a Nov. 19 interview when asked if he would back her nomination. “She’s obviously qualified. I don’t agree with a lot of her philosophy, but she’s qualified.” Coburn is a member of the banking panel.

“She seems to be a qualified lady,” Graham said of Yellen, 67. He said he’s “inclined to support her” when asked about his position on her nomination.

‘Well Qualified’

Collins said she was “certainly inclined to support” Yellen, adding, “I believe that she’s well qualified for the position.”

Corker, a member of the banking panel, met with Yellen Nov. 18. He said yesterday she made a commitment to moderate Fed purchases of mortgage bonds as soon as she believes “the data supports that action and shows that the current status cannot continue.”

The Federal Open Market Committee began $40 billion in monthly purchases of mortgage-backed securities in September 2012. Republicans have opposed the bond-buying pace that has swelled the Fed’s balance sheet to almost $4 trillion.

Corker said he’s concerned that Yellen lacks the experience in systemic financial regulation and hopes she works to overcome “that deficit.”

‘Easy-Money Policies’

Nebraska Senator Mike Johanns, a Republican member of the banking panel, announced yesterday that he would oppose Yellen. He said he didn’t find her lacking in qualifications, yet he was concerned that the Fed’s “policies of indefinite stimulus will have negative long-term economic consequences.”

“I cannot support Ms. Yellen’s nomination because, given many opportunities, she never did distance herself from these easy-money policies,” Johanns said. “The Fed has gone too far in trying to stimulate the economy and these sweeteners can’t go on forever. While the market has enjoyed this sugar high, it is unsustainable.”

Rand Paul of Kentucky, Richard Shelby of Alabama, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, John Hoeven of North Dakota, John McCain of Arizona, David Vitter of Louisiana and Pat Roberts of Kansas are among other Senate Republicans who have said they probably or definitely will vote against Yellen’s confirmation.

At least two Republican senators — Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — said they hadn’t made up their minds about Yellen and didn’t rule out supporting her.

Babatunde Akinsola
Babatunde Akinsola
Babatunde Akinsola is aNaija247news' Southwest editor. He's based in Lagos and writes on the Yoruba Nation political issues, news and investigative reports

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