WASHINGTON (1/7/14)--The U.S. Senate has confirmed Janet Yellen to succeed Ben Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. Bernanke's term, his second as head of the central bank, ends Jan. 31.
Yellen, who has served as Fed vice chairman since Oct. 4, 2010, becomes the first woman to head the Fed board. Last Dec. 20, the Senate voted 59-34 to move Yellen's name forward for today's historic vote. Her term as chairman will end Jan. 30, 2018.
"Congratulations to Chairman Yellin," said Credit Union National Association President/CEO Bill Cheney in response to the final vote. He added, "We stand ready to work with her on all facets of reducing the regulatory burden for smaller financial institutions, particularly credit unions."
In testimony to support her nomination before the Senate Banking Committee in November, Yellen said, "In writing new rules, however, the Fed should continue to limit the regulatory burden for community banks and smaller institutions, taking into account their distinct role and contributions."
She also said, "We have made progress in promoting a strong and stable financial system, but here, too, important work lies ahead. I am committed to using the Fed's supervisory and regulatory role to reduce the threat of another financial crisis. I believe that capital and liquidity rules and strong supervision are important tools for addressing the problem of financial institutions that are regarded as 'too big to fail.'"
During that nomination hearing, committee chairman Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) called Yellen "a model candidate for chair of the Fed." He said she "understands the challenges facing our economy and the balance the Fed must strike as we navigate the path back to full employment," and has also demonstrated "that she understands the importance of completing ongoing Wall Street reform rulemaking and of the Fed's regulatory role in supervising the riskiest banks."