Key Democratic Senators Oppose Summers for Fed: WSJ

Friday, 06 Sep 2013 09:25 AM

 

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Three key Democratic senators oppose Larry Summers to lead the Federal Reserve, creating a huge obstacle if the White House nominates him, a media report said Friday.

The Wall Street Journal said the three, members of the Senate Banking Committee, could be decisive if President Barack Obama chooses the economist, formerly one of his top economic advisors, to replace Ben Bernanke as Fed chairman at the end of January.

Obama is expected to name the next central bank chief within weeks, but faces numerous policy battles with Republicans and members of his own party over Syria, the US budget and other lightning-rod issues.

Editor’s Note: Obama’s Budget Takes Aim at Retired Americans

"Democrats hold a two-vote majority on the 22-member panel, so the loss of three Democrats would make it impossible for Mr. Summers to advance to the full Senate for a confirmation vote without the backing of some of the 10 Republicans."

Obama has made clear that Summers is on his shortlist for the nomination, along with current Fed vice-chair Janet Yellen and "a couple" of other unnamed possibles.

But Summers has drawn the most attention, in part for his ostensible strong-willed personality in policy circles and, in a worry to more liberal members of Obama's Democrats, his historical closeness to the banking industry the Fed regulates.

Little is known about how he feels about the key issue facing the Fed now: when and how fast to reduce the $85 billion a month bond purchases meant to stimulate the economy, and how soon to begin tightening monetary policy.

The three Democrats who would oppose Summers are Jeff Merkley, Sherrod Brown and Elizabeth Warren, the Journal said.

Editor’s Note: Obama’s Budget Takes Aim at Retired Americans

 

 

 

 

 

© AFP 2014

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