Washington, Jan. 7 (PTI): Janet Yellen was today confirmed as the chairwoman of the US Federal Reserve by the Senate, making her the first woman to lead the world’s most powerful central bank in its 100-year history.
Yellen, 67, currently the Fed’s vice-chairperson, has been an influential proponent of its extraordinary measures to revive the battered US economy, even though interest rates are already close to zero.
Yellen will succeed Ben Bernanke, whose second four-year term as Fed chairman ends on January 31.
Senators voted 56 to 26 in her favour, with many missing the vote because of inclement weather. Eleven Republicans broke party ranks, voting to support Yellen, described by President Barack Obama as one of America’s most respected economists.
“With the bipartisan confirmation of Janet Yellen as the next chair of the Fed, the American people will have a fierce champion who understands that the ultimate goal of economic and financial policymaking is to improve the lives, jobs and standard of living of American workers and their families,” Obama said.
“As one of our nation’s most respected economists and a leading voice at the Fed for more than a decade and vice-chair for the past three years, Janet helped pull our economy out of recession and put us on the path of steady growth,” he said.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said the Senate had taken a momentous step to ensure the US continued to be the engine of a thriving global economy.