By a vote of 56 to 26, the U.S. Senate confirmed Janet Yellen (shown in photo) as the next chair of the Federal Reserve, following Ben Bernanke’s retirement from the Fed at the end of the month. The Senate vote came Monday evening, January 6, with 18 members failing to vote, most of whom were stranded by weather at airports and unable to get back to Washington in time for the confirmation vote. Eleven Republicans broke party ranks to join a solid Democrat vote in favor of Yellen, who has held various positions at the Fed for more than a decade, most recently as vice chair under Bernanke. (For the Senate roll call vote on the Yellen nomination, available at link below.)
Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who was stranded by weather, arrived after the vote, but delivered a scathing denunciation in the Senate of the Fed’s secrecy and money manipulation:
I rise today in opposition to secrecy, in opposition to the veil of secrecy that clothes the money changing that takes place in the temple of the Federal Reserve. While the money changes hands the moneyed class gets richer and the middle class gets shortchanged. It is more than time to part the curtain that hides the trillions of dollars that change hands. There is a revolving door from Wall Street to the Treasury to the Fed and back again. We have former Secretaries of Treasury who go from government to Wall Street pocketing hundreds of millions of dollars. I’ve called repeatedly for transparency at the Federal Reserve, so Americans can see what is being done with their money supply. Every time I call for transparency people from both sides have said “transparency would undermine Fed independence.”
This is, in a sense, laundering money from the American people to bail out big banks and Wall Street.
Click here to see the Senate roll call vote on the Yellen nomination and related video.