Obama Says Fed Nominee to Keep Bernanke ‘Smart Policies’

President Barack Obama said the person he nominates to lead the Federal Reserve will maintain the “smart policies” of the current chairman, Ben S. Bernanke.

The president, in an interview with NPR News, replied “no” when asked whether a delay in choosing a successor to Bernanke has hurt the Fed.

“Ben Bernanke’s done an outstanding job,” Obama said, according to a transcript released today by the radio network. “He’s maintained confidence. And whoever I appoint I think will continue many of the smart policies that Ben Bernanke’s made.”

Obama is likely to choose the Fed’s current vice chairman, Janet Yellen, to succeed Bernanke, Senator Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the chamber, said Sept. 26.

“I would bet a few bucks that that would happen if I were a betting man,” Durbin, of Illinois, told Peter Cook in a Bloomberg Television interview. Bernanke’s term expires Jan. 31.

Durbin, who has close ties to Obama, is one of about 20 Senate Democrats who signed a July 26 letter urging the president to pick Yellen, 67.

Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers has withdrawn his name from consideration.

In the NPR interview, conducted yesterday just hours before the government shut down at midnight with lawmakers mired in a dispute over implementation of his Affordable Care Act, Obama expressed frustration over Congress and its failure to pass a budget.

“Ben Bernanke himself has said that his job would be a whole lot easier, and the next Fed chairman’s job would be a whole lot easier, if Congress started doing what it’s supposed to be doing,” Obama said.

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