WASHINGTON - Time’s Person of the Year one moment; object of Senate scorn the other.
Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke faces a vote today in the Senate Banking Committee on his nomination for another four-year term as head of the nation’s central bank.
But yesterday - the day Time magazine gave him its highest honor as Person of the Year - senators were blaming him for failing to anticipate the financial crisis and for approving massive bailouts.
Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent liberal from Vermont, called him a “key architect of the Bush economy.’’ Sanders has placed a “hold’’ on the nomination, meaning a super-majority of 60 votes is needed to confirm Bernanke.
Bernanke’s term ends Jan. 31. Unless Sanders relents a full Senate vote is not expected until next month. The Fed chairman is apt to have enough support to win in committee and in the full Senate.