WASHINGTON The U.S. Senate's final vote of the year may be on Friday to confirm President Barack Obama's nomination of Janet Yellen to head the Federal Reserve, a senior Democratic aide said on Wednesday.
The Democratic-led Senate is expected to turn to Yellen, currently the Fed's vice chair, and nine other Obama nominees after wrapping up action on a major defense bill, likely on Thursday.
Up to 30 hours of debate have been set aside for both the defense bill and the Yellen nomination. But with senators anxious to go home for the holidays, Democrats and Republicans may agree to yield back time.
If they do not surrender time, senators may end up working this weekend.
In addition to Yellen, Obama's Democrats want to confirm nine other mostly lower-level nominees before adjourning for the year, or reach agreements with Republicans to carry them over to 2014.
Unless such agreements are reached, any pending nominee not approved would have to start over the confirmation process, with Obama re-nominating them.
Senate Democrats will not go home without first getting Yellen confirmed, aides said. She enjoys broad support and appears certain to be approved.
"We may get to her by Thursday, but more likely on Friday," a senior aide said. "She may be the last Senate vote of the year."
Before the Senate votes on Yellen, it is set to consider three other Obama nominees, including John Koskinen to head the Internal Revenue Service.
(Reporting by Thomas Ferraro; Editing by Vicki Allen)