While President Obama’s decision to nominate Janet Yellen as the first female chairman of the Fed has been praised as historic, some Senate Republicans vowed to thoroughly examine her record.
“I intend to fairly but rigorously scrutinize this nominee. What we need in the Fed is a policy of humility that recognizes its limitations and the risk of continued easing,” said Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama), Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee on Wednesday.
“The stimulus mindset in Washington – both fiscal and monetary – has not produced strong, sustainable growth.”
Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), a member of the Senate Banking Committee, echoed Sessions.
“She wasn't someone I could support back in 2010. I doubt that's going to change," Corker said.
“We will closely examine her record since that time, but I am not aware of anything that demonstrates her views have changed,” he added.
“Ms. Yellen subscribes to the liberal school of thought that the best way to handle to our nation’s fiscal challenges is to throw more money at them,” said the second ranking Republican in the Senate, John Cornyn (R-Texas).
“This stimulus obsession is the reason the nation finds itself in the fiscal calamity it does today, and the last thing we need is a leader at the helm of the Federal Reserve who is intent on more quantitative easing that harms our economy and further burdens hard-working Americans.”
Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kansas), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, said he would oppose Yellen’s nomination.
“I am opposed to the President’s nomination of Janet Yellen to Chair the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Vice Chair Yellen will continue the destructive and inflationary policy of pouring billions of newly printed money every month into our economy, and artificially holding interest rates to near zero. This policy has been in place far too long,” said Roberts.
“It continues to be done because our Administration is desperate to finance our burgeoning national debt, now approaching $17 trillion, at a low interest rate, instead of dealing with the hard issues of decreasing federal spending,” he added.
Senate Banking Committee Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) also said in a statement that Yellen’s nomination would be “carefully reviewed and considered by the Banking Committee.”
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) said he would work with Crapo to move Yellen’s nomination forward in a timely manner.
“I commend President Obama on his selection of Dr. Yellen to be the first woman to serve as Federal Reserve Chairman. She has a depth of experience that is second to none, and I have no doubt she will be an excellent Federal Reserve Chairman,” he said.
“In addition to having more than a decade’s worth of experience working on monetary policy at the Federal Reserve, Dr. Yellen has also worked at the White House as Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors and taught at some of world’s most prestigious universities. I will work with Ranking Member Crapo and the rest of the members of the Banking Committee to move her nomination forward in a timely manner,” he added.
NAFCU President/CEO Dan Berger said he looks forward to working with Yellen on issues of concern to credit unions.
“Putting aside the politics of confirmation as well as the debate on monetary policy, Gov. Yellen is extremely qualified to be Fed chairman,” Berger said. “She has an impressive record both in academia and as chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and as Fed vice chair.
A 501(c)(4) advocacy organization, American Principles in Action, launched a website, NoOnYellen.com on Thursday and pledged to spend $25,000 to broadcast videos on various financial websites opposing Yellen, according to a press release.
James Grant, author and founder of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer, Daniel Oliver, founder of Myrmikan Capital and director of the Committee for Monetary Research and Education, and Sean Fieler, president of Equinox Partners, are featured in a video on the website.
President Obama nominated Yellen, 67, for chairman of the Fed on Wednesday. She would become the first woman to hold the position if confirmed. Current Chair Ben Bernanke’s term expires at the end of January.