Bloomberg by the Numbers: 70

Photograph by Pete Marovich/Bloomberg

Janet Yellen, vice chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, swears into a Senate Banking Committee confirmation hearing in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 14, 2013.

Updated at 12:15 pm EST

That’s how many senators voted in January 2010 to approve Ben Bernanke for a second term as Federal Reserve chairman.

The Senate today voted 59-34 to advance Yellen’s confirmation to a final vote, yet has delayed that until Jan. 6  to avoid a weekend vote heading into the holiday recess. Yellen, President Barack Obama’s choice to lead the U.S. central bank after Bernanke’s term expires on Jan. 31, is currently the Fed’s current vice chairman.

“Yellen, 67, is poised to become the first woman to head the central bank in its 100-year history,” Bloomberg’s Kathleen Hunter reported earlier this week.

The Senate Banking Committee on Nov. 21 approved Yellen’s nomination by 14 to 8. Eleven of 12 Democrats on that panel, or 92 percent, backed Yellen. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia voted no.

Three of the committee’s 10 Republicans — Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Mark Kirk of Illinois — sided with most panel Democrats in backing Yellen.

The Senate’s approval was expected this week, though the matter has been pushed to Jan. 6 to avoid a weekend vote before the holiday recess. How many senators do you think will vote to confirm Yellen? Use the comments section below to make your prediction.

For those keeping score at home, here’s a look at the past nine Senate confirmation votes for Fed chairman dating to 1979:

Paul Volcker, 1979: 98-0

Volcker, July 1983: 84-16. Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, is the only senator in the current 113th Congress who voted against confirming Volcker for a second term.

Alan Greenspan, August 1987: 91-2. Democrats Bill Bradley of New Jersey and Kent Conrad of North Dakota were the lone “no” votes.

Greenspan, February 1992: voice vote (uncontested)

Greenspan, June 1996: 91-7. Seven Democrats opposed Greenspan.

Greenspan, February 2000: 89-4. The four “no” votes came from Democrats Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, Tom Harkin of Iowa, Harry Reid of Nevada and Paul Wellstone of Minnesota.

Greenspan, June 2004: voice vote

Bernanke, January 2006: voice vote

Bernanke, January 2010: 70-30. To understand why Bernanke received the most votes cast against any Fed chairman nominee, read this story, ”White House Takes Lessons From Bernanke Close Call,” that Bloomberg’s Phil Mattingly and Robert Schmidt wrote last month.


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