WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Democratic chairman and a Republican on the Senate banking committee said on Saturday they were confident Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke would win confirmation for a second term.
“Based on our discussions with our colleagues, we are very confident that Chairman Bernanke will win confirmation by the Senate for a second term,” Senators Chris Dodd and Judd Gregg said in a joint statement.
Bernanke’s confirmation suddenly appeared in jeopardy on Friday after two Senate Democrats announced they were opposed, joining a growing number of senators who had vowed to vote against his appointment.
In one sign of how worried the White House is, President Barack Obama called the Democratic Senate leadership on Saturday to make sure Bernanke’s confirmation was on track.
A senior administration official said the senators had assured Obama that Bernanke would be confirmed.
Bernanke’s critics say the Fed failed to prevent the recent financial crisis, the worst since the Great Depression, and combated the meltdown in a way that favored banks and others in the financial industry at the expense of ordinary citizens.
Dodd, a Democrat, and Gregg, a Republican, said recent media reports on Bernanke’s prospects were “highlighting a very vocal opposition.”
They added that Bernanke had done “an excellent job” responding to the financial crisis and they supported him because “he is the right leader to guide the Federal Reserve in this recovering economy.”
Additional reporting by Ross Colvin; Editing by Eric Walsh