The U.S. Senate Banking Committee said Thursday it will hold a hearing at 10 a.m. EST on Nov. 14 on the nomination of Janet Yellen for Federal Reserve chair.
President Barack Obama on Oct. 9 nominated Yellen to succeed Chairman Ben Bernanke when his term expires on Feb. 1, 2014.
If the Banking Committee votes to approve Yellen’s nomination, it will move to the floor of the Senate for confirmation.
Barclays' Michael Gapen expects Yellen to be confirmed by the Senate and take over as Fed chief at the end of January.
“Yellen has been through the Senate confirmation process once already, earning confirmation when she was nominated by the Obama administration to replace outgoing Vice Chair Donald Kohn in 2010,” Gapen said in a note.
In July of that year, the Senate Banking Committee voted 17 to 6 to approve her nomination and the Senate subsequently confirmed her on a voice vote. There are 22 members on the Senate Banking Committee, with 12 Democrats and 10 Republicans, and the Democrats hold a 55-seat majority in the Senate overall.
Gapen expects the Democrats unanimously to support Yellen’s nomination, which should pave the way to confirmation, but the political environment remains highly contentious and many members of Congress have questioned the efficacy of unconventional monetary policy as the Fed’s balance sheet has expanded.
“We expect these objections to be renewed and debated during the confirmation process, but we also expect Yellen to be confirmed with majorities similar to her appointment to vice chair and Chairman Ben Bernanke’s confirmation to his second term as chair,” Gapen said.
In January 2010, Bernanke was confirmed in the Senate by a margin of 70-30, which was the highest number of “no” votes ever received by a Fed chairman during the confirmation process. Paul Volcker's confirmation by a vote of 84-16 in 1983 had been the prior weakest showing.