Senators Join Opposition to Bernanke

Posted December 3, 2009 at 3:33pm

Updated: 7:50 p.m.Three more Senators announced Thursday that they would oppose Ben Bernanke’s confirmation to a second term as chairman of the Federal Reserve.Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) charged that Bernanke “helped encourage the credit mania that led to the financial panic.—“Mr. Bernanke has been one of the chief proponents of the Fed’s easy money policy that created the current financial crisis,— DeMint said in a statement following Bernanke’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. “He ignored asset bubbles, dismissed concerns about the weakness of the dollar, and helped encourage the credit mania that led to the financial panic. Even worse, Mr. Bernanke has refused to accept any responsibility for his role in these actions prior to financial crisis,— the Republican added. DeMint pledged to hold up Bernanke’s nomination until the Senate approves legislation that would allow the Government Accountability Office to audit the Fed. The bill is sponsored by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who said earlier this week that he would hold up Bernanke’s nomination.Sens. David Vitter (R-La.) and Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) also vowed Thursday to hold up the nomination of Bernanke, whose first term as Fed chairman expires Jan. 31. Despite the growing chorus of criticism and Bernanke’s grilling before the Banking panel Thursday, he is expected to be confirmed by the full Senate.