Bloomberg by the Numbers: 34

Photograph by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Janet Yellen, vice chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, center, after an open meeting of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 10, 2013.

Thirty-four senators on Dec. 20 voted against advancing Janet Yellen’s nomination to lead the Federal Reserve.

Yellen, President Barack Obama’s choice to succeed Fed chairman Ben Bernanke, surely will be confirmed for the post in a final vote that’s scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Eastern time today. Yet the 59-34 procedural vote last month indicates she could win approval with the most “no” votes of any Fed chairman in history.

She’ll likely receive more than the 30 “no” votes Bernanke got in 2010, when his nomination ran into trouble amid “voter anger and lawmaker distrust stirred by the Fed’s role in bailing out Wall Street banks less than two years earlier,” as Bloomberg’s Phil Mattingly and Robert Schmidt reported in November.

“In the end, the Senate voted 70 to 30 to confirm Bernanke, the most opposition a Fed chief had faced since the chamber began voting on the position in 1978,” Mattingly and Schmidt wrote. “Still, compared to the dire straits the nominee had faced only days before, the vote represented a big victory for those involved.”

Fed chairmen typically have won confirmation in uncontested or lopsided votes. Click here for a history of Senate confirmation votes for Fed chairman.

Bernanke’s tenure ends Jan. 31. The outgoing Fed chief delivered remarks in Philadelphia on Jan. 3 that Bloomberg’s Joshua Zumbrun and Steve Matthews covered in this story.

“The combination of financial healing, greater balance in the housing market, less fiscal restraint, and, of course, continued monetary policy accommodation bodes well for U.S. economic growth in coming quarters,” Bernanke said, according to the story. “Of course, if the experience of the past few years teaches us anything, it is that we should be cautious in our forecasts.”



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