Seventeen Senators, four of them Democrats, have declared that they will vote against Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke’s confirmation for second term, according a Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones survey.
Senators opposed to Bernanke’s confirmation say Bernanke had a role in creating the financial crisis, see a lack of progress for Main Street, and say there has been a lack of transparency in how tax payer money has been used.
So far 35 Senators are in favor of the confirmation, 17 are opposed and 29 are undecided, according results of the poll published at 11 a.m.
Bernanke needs 60 of 100 senate votes for a smooth confirmation process. Last week’s Republican victory in Massachusetts gives the Republicans 41 votes in the Senate.
Below are comments from the four Democrat and six Republicans who oppose the confirmation.
Barbara Boxer – “It is time for Main Street to have a champion at the Fed.”
Bryon Dorgan – “I’m not going to let the Bernanke nomination to head the Fed for another term go through until he tells, what did he do with our money, the American people’s money.
Russ Feingold – “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.”
Jeff Merkley – “Do you hand the job of rebuilding a house that’s been burnt down via fire to the person who helped set the fire to being with? And Ben Bernanke helped set the fire.” – The Oregonian
Jim Bunning – “They do not want as chairman someone who has been part of the problem and who has been responsible for many of the enormous difficulties that we are now experiencing.”
John Cornyn – “[Bernanke] has presided over what is a crisis of confidence of the American people due to a lack of transparency and accountability with regard to the bailouts and other activities by the Federal Reserve.” – Agence France Press
Mike Crapo – “The $700 billion TARP program…has unfortunately turned into a free-for-all for bailouts.”
Jim DeMint – “the Fed has failed the American people during his tenure as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board and I cannot support his nomination for a second term.”
Kay Bailey Hutchison – “Not only did Bernanke fail to prevent the collapse but he is pursuing policies which guarantee the U.S. will face an even bigger crisis in the near future.”
John McCain – “His policies were partially responsible for the meltdown that we experienced…I think he should be held accountable.” – CBS’ Face the Nation