WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic Senator Charles Schumer on Wednesday urged President Barack Obama to nominate Federal Reserve Vice Chair Janet Yellen as the next chief of the U.S. central bank.
Speaking at a news conference, Schumer, a New York Democrat who serves on the Senate Banking Committee, said that he had previously supported either Yellen or former White House adviser Lawrence Summers to succeed Ben Bernanke as the head of the U.S. central bank next year.
Now that Summers has dropped out, “I think the president should choose Yellen,” he said.
Besides serving on the Senate Banking Committee, which would review whoever Obama nominates for the top Fed job, Schumer also is the third-ranking Senate Democrat.
His remarks, prompted by a reporter’s question, could be one more nudge to the White House to pick Yellen, who would be the first woman to hold the Fed chairman job.
Since Summers’ withdrawal amid deep opposition from Senate Democrats, there has been speculation that Obama could turn to others who have been seen as long-shot candidates, such as former Fed vice chairmen Donald Kohn and Roger Ferguson.
Reporting By David Lawder; Editing by Diane Craft and Nick Zieminski