The Senate Banking Committee backed the nomination of three candidates for the Federal Reserve Board, including San Francisco Fed President Janet Yellen for vice chairman.
The panel’s decisions advanced the three a step closer to a vote by the full Senate for confirmation. Ms. Yellen’s candidacy for vice chairman was recommended in a 17-6 vote. The panel voted 16-7 in favor of Peter Diamond, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology economics professor, and 21-2 for Sarah Bloom Raskin, Maryland’s commissioner of financial regulation. All of the opposition came from Republican committee members.
Senate approval of the nominees would give the Fed’s board a full seven-member complement for the first time in more than four years. Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., said he hopes for a final vote in September.
Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, the panel’s senior Republican, backed Ms. Raskin while voting against Ms. Yellen and Mr. Diamond.
“President Yellen presided over a regional housing bubble and failed to restrain the excesses,” and Mr. Diamond, while a “skilled economist,” may not be qualified to make decisions on monetary policy, Mr. Shelby said.