Monday afternoon, Senate will begin its 2014 business with a vote to fill the most powerful job in U.S. economic policy. Janet Yellen, the president’s choice to head the Federal Reserve, will likely be confirmed in a vote scheduled for later in the day.
Yellen, the current vice chair of the Fed, would be the first woman to ever hold the position of America’s top banker. During her confirmation hearings, she signalled that her approach to U.S. monetary policy would be similar to that of her predecessor, outgoing Fed Chair Ben Bernanke.
“Our country has come a long way since the dark days of the financial crisis, but we have farther to go,” said Yellen at the beginning of her confirmation hearing. “Likewise, I believe the Federal Reserve has made significant progress toward its goals but has more work to do.”
While the confirmation process for Yellen has been relatively mild by the standards of the modern Senate, she still faces strong opposition from the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party. On Monday morning, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., tweeted that he would continue to vocally oppose Yellen’s confirmation up until the very end.
Paul had previously threatened to put a hold on Yellen’s confirmation until his proposal to audit the Federal Reserve received a vote. Senate majority leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has not met Paul’s demands.
Yellen was reportedly not the president’s first choice to head up the Federal Reserve. Over the summer, various media outlets reported that President Obama was leaning towards nominating former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers to the post. The rumor appalled the president’s Democratic base, who viewed Summers as a less qualified and less progressive choice. In mid-September, Summers withdrew his name from consideration.