Bloomberg is tallying up the Senate votes and reporting Helicopter Ben Bernanke is in by a good 66%.
Bloomberg yesterday interviewed 53 senators who aren’t on the Banking Committee, which voted 16-7 on Dec. 17 to recommend Bernanke’s nomination to the full Senate. Twenty-one lawmakers said they are inclined to vote for Bernanke, while four said they would oppose the central bank chief, giving him 37-12 support so far for a four-year term starting Feb. 1. Another 28 said they’re undecided or declined to comment.
California Democrat Dianne Feinstein and South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham were among senators saying they’ll support Bernanke, citing his response to the financial crisis. Senators from both major parties said they expect him to be confirmed, even with at least four lawmakers trying to block or delay the nomination.
“We were on the verge of a Great Depression, and I think he and others came up with some monetary policies that prevented us from going into a depression,” said Graham, who also backs a broad audit of the central bank. “He is worthy of renomination.”
Of the 77 senators who have voted, spoken with Bloomberg or publicly commented on their views, 43 are Democrats, 33 are Republicans and one is an independent. Democrats support Bernanke by a 26-1 margin, while Republicans are split 11-10 in the Fed chief’s favor. The chamber has 58 Democrats, 40 Republicans and two independents.
There are procedure holds on Bernanke's confirmation, one from Senator Bernie Sanders. It takes 60 votes to break a hold, but frankly this still appears like a done deal
Meanwhile the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission starts holding hearings in January. Strange isn't it? This late in the game, and after legislation is formed are they bothering to investigate causes?