U.S. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd said it’s “very important” for lawmakers to approve President Barack Obama’s nominees to the Federal Reserve Board in the next few weeks.
“I hope so,” Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat, told reporters in Washington when asked if the picks would be confirmed. “It’s very important we get it done in this three-week period if we can,” he said, referring to the session before lawmakers adjourn for the Nov. 2 midterm elections.
The central bank’s seven-member board has been operating with four governors since former Vice Chairman Donald Kohn retired Sept. 1 after a 40-year career. Dodd said he expected the White House to resubmit the nomination of Peter Diamond, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist, after formal consideration of his appointment was rebuffed last month.
Dodd, 66, said he talked with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky about confirming the nominees before the chamber adjourned for its summer recess in August. “We couldn’t get it done then,” Dodd said.
If resubmitted, the banking panel would have to vote a second time on recommending Diamond to the full Senate, Dodd said. The original nomination of Diamond, 70, from April failed to carry over through the recess to September because of objections from at least one lawmaker.
Obama’s two other nominees are San Francisco Fed President Janet Yellen for vice chairman and Sarah Bloom Raskin for a governor slot.
In July, the banking panel voted 16-7 in favor of Diamond, 17-6 for Yellen and 21-2 for Raskin, Maryland’s commissioner of financial regulation. All of the opposition came from Republican members.