Republican opposes speedy confirmation for Fed nominees

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 28, 2012 5:58 PM
Republican opposes speedy confirmation for Fed nominees

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Republican senator and member of the Senate Banking Committee said on Wednesday he would move to prevent a quick confirmation for the White House's two nominees for the Federal Reserve Board.

"I refuse to provide (Federal Reserve) Chairman Bernanke with two more rubber stamps who approve of the Fed's activist policies," Sen. David Vitter said in a statement provided by his press office.

President Barack Obama has nominated Jerome Powell, an investment banker, and Jeremy Stein, a Harvard University economist, to fill the two empty posts on the central bank's powerful board.

The Senate Banking Committee will vote on those and other nominees on Thursday. Vitter's comments indicate that, even if the Fed nominations breeze through the committee they will not be approved immediately without a full Senate vote.

Vitter is the first Republican to express outright objection to Obama's two Fed nominees. Sen. Richard Shelby, the banking committee's top Republican, held up the nomination of a previous Obama nominee, Peter Diamond, and Diamond eventually withdrew.

Shelby has not indicated any objections to Powell or Stein so far, saying he would consider each nominee on his merits.

(Reporting By Dave C. Clarke; Writing by Pedro Nicolaci da Costa; Editing by Andrew Hay)