Feingold Will Vote Against Bernanke

Posted January 22, 2010 at 9:42am

Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) announced Friday that he will vote against the nomination of Ben Bernanke for a second term as chairman of the Federal Reserve.“A chief responsibility of the Chairman of the Federal Reserve is to ensure a sound financial system. Under the watch of Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve permitted grossly irresponsible financial activities that led to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression,— Feingold charged in a statement.Feingold echoed the sentiment of liberal Democrats who want President Barack Obama to appoint a fresh economic team to focus on “Main Street— issues like unemployment rather than Wall Street concerns. He criticized Bernanke’s leadership before and after last year’s economic crisis and declared his opposition to granting the Fed chief a second term.“As it responds to the crisis it helped to usher in, the Federal Reserve under Chairman Bernanke’s leadership continues to resist appropriate efforts to review that response, how taxpayers’ money was being used, and whether it acted appropriately,— Feingold blasted. “When the full Senate considers his nomination, I will vote against another term for Chairman Bernanke.—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) met with Bernanke on Thursday, one day after Democrats voiced concerns during their weekly policy luncheon about the nomination.Bernanke’s nomination is already the subject of holds by GOP Sens. Jim Bunning (Ky.), Jim DeMint (S.C.) and David Vitter (La.), as well as Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.), who caucuses with the Democrats. Reid will likely have to file a procedural motion to overcome the holds, a move that will require 60 votes. But with support among Democrats for Bernanke seeming to wane, it’s unclear whether Reid can meet that mark.