Senate Panel approves Bernanke’s nomination for second term

The US Senate Banking Committee voted on Thursday to approve Ben Bernanke’s nomination for a second term as head of the Federal Reserve Bank. The 16-to-7 vote comes despite criticism of Bernanke’s handling of the crisis.

A heated debate preceded the vote and is likely to continue in the coming days – with Bernanke’s supporters and opponents voicing their arguments.

“I strongly support this nomination. The Fed took extraordinary actions to arrest this crisis and prevent utter economic catastrophe,” said committee chairman Senator Chris Dodd.

“His time as Fed chair has been a failure,” argued Republican Senator Jim Bunning.

“As Chairman, Dr. Bernanke failed to recognize or remedy the factors that paved the road to this dark and difficult recession,” said Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley.

However, another Democrat, Senator Robert Menendez, is of the opposite opinion, “He did bring us back from the brink of depression.”

Ben Bernanke will mostly likely continue to oversee the Federal Reserve, though a growing number of US lawmakers are desperately trying to keep him from staying on for yet another round. This includes Senator Bernie Sanders, who stated he will “do everything I can to see that he is not reappointed.”

On the media side, opinions are also divided. Chris Stirewalt of the Washington Examiner says that even though a number of Republicans and Democrats are not happy with Bernanke’s management of the crisis, he could still be the best candidate for the tough job ahead.

“What everybody in Washington is keenly aware of is that pretty soon the Fed’s going to tighten down on the supply of money to fight inflation. And when this happens, that will put people out of work, and will hurt even the small signs of growth we are having right now. So in terms of the toughest job in the world, Ben Bernanke would be a good nominee.”

Watch the interview with Chris Stirewalt

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However, American radio host and author Charles Goyette disagrees, saying that Ben Bernanke “is destroying the United States.”

Watch the interview with Charles Goyette

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