Fight To Block Bernanke Falls Short

By:  Bob Kinzel
Vermont Public Radio

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders has lost his fight to deny Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke a second term in office.

The full Senate voted 70 to 30 to confirm Bernanke's nomination.

Sanders joined a coalition of the Senate's most liberal and most conservative members to oppose Bernanke. 

He argued that the Federal Reserve, under Bernanke's leadership, focused too much attention on the big financial firms on Wall Street and didn't provide credit to the nation's small business community, to help ease the impact of the recession.

Sanders says he's disappointed by the final vote but he thinks the coalition raised some important issues:

(Sanders) "I think we sent a very clear message to this country is that the Fed has the responsibility not just to the big money interests on Wall Street but small businesses and working families all over this country who today are in very, very serious trouble."

(Host) Senator Patrick Leahy voted for Bernanke's confirmation. In a statement Leahy wrote, "It is clear that that prompt and decisive action by Federal officials like Dr. Bernanke saved the country from another Great Depression."