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Bernanke Update: Baucus Yes, McCain No UPDATE: Better Whip Count Shows Bernanke At 37-17

Just to bring everyone up to speed on the latest whip count for Ben Bernanke: Max Baucus has agreed to support the Federal Reserve chair for another term, while John McCain has come out in opposition.

Our country is still facing an economic crisis and while I appreciate the service that Chairman Bernanke has performed as Federal Reserve Chairman, I believe that he must be held accountable for many of the decisions that contributed to our financial meltdown.

Therefore, I plan to oppose Chairman Ben Bernanke’s confirmation for a new term as Federal Reserve Chairman.

I would guess that McCain’s challenge from the right by nutburger J.D. Hayworth may be driving this decision. The no votes are increasingly coming from Senators facing the voters this year; even those not yet in the Senate, like Connecticut’s Richard Blumenthal, are not inclined to support the Fed chair. From those not facing voters, like the set-to-retire Judd Gregg, you hear lines like “There’s a lot of populism going on in this country right now, and I’m tired of it.”

Shorter Judd Gregg: Time to shut up the rabble and their “opinions” and let us enlightened souls run the country in the tip-top way we have for the last decade.

The updated whip count includes 30 yes votes, 14 no votes, and 1 unclear (Mitch McConnell, who said he expects confirmation of Bernanke, ultimately).

UPDATE: Reid Wilson’s whip count at the Hotline is preferable, because he doesn’t include Sherrod Brown, who voted for Bernanke in committee but has rethought his position. According to Wilson, we’re at 37 votes in favor of Bernanke, and 17 opposed. He’d need 60 votes to overcome the various holds offered by at least 5 Senators. There are 12 GOP’ers in support, and still only 5 Democrats announced against. So Bernanke is in the drivers seat, with the opposition needing 24 of the remaining 46 undecided Senators to defeat the nomination. And just Republicans could not accomplish that – several Democrats would have to oppose as well.

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David Dayen

David Dayen