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Dodd: Federal Reserve Nominees Still Stuck in Limbo

Chris Dodd doesn’t expect a vote on three nominees to the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors. Janet Yellen, Sarah Bloom Raskin and Peter Diamond have been awaiting confirmation for months.

U.S. Sen. Christopher Dodd (D., Conn.) said Tuesday he didn’t know how much appetite there was among senators to vote on three nominees to the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors before the November election, including that of the nominee for the vice chairman of the Fed.

Dodd, the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee that has jurisdiction over Federal Reserve nominees, said there was limited time before lawmakers break until November.

He said the issue of whether to bring the nominations up for a debate and vote hadn’t been discussed when Senate Democrats met Tuesday afternoon to discuss strategy.

“We’ve got a limited amount of time here, I don’t know if there’s going to be any appetite to deal with these Fed nominees,” Dodd said.

In Diamond’s case, the Republicans forced his nomination back to the White House during the August recess. The White House sent him back to the Senate, but now Richard Shelby expects the Banking Committee to hold another hearing on him and more deliberation, even though he already passed the committee on a bipartisan vote.

As many noted earlier this week, if a crisis in the international banking industry led to a need for emergency lending from the Fed, they currently do not have a quorum among the Board of Governors to provide it. This is unnecessarily dangerous.

This obstruction now impedes the normal functioning of the polity. The President could make a recess appointment on these positions in October. But the greater lesson should be that the Senate’s rules have to change in January.

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David Dayen

David Dayen

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