Dodd, Gregg confident in Bernanke confirmation after talks with senators

Two key senators from both parties on Saturday expressed confidence that the Senate will confirm Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke's second term.

Senate Banking Committee chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and Budget Committee ranking member Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) issued a joint statement intended as a vote of confidence for the sometimes embattled Fed chairman.

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"Based on our discussions with our colleagues, we are very confident that Chairman Bernanke will win confirmation by the Senate for a second term," Dodd and Gregg said. "We support his nomination because he is the right leader to guide the Federal Reserve in this recovering economy."

The two retiring senators' statement comes as Bernanke's renomination has fallen into doubt over the past week. Before this week, Bernanke's nomination to a second term was expected to clear without problems. 

Dodd and Gregg specifically addressed a "flurry of media reports on Chairman Bernanke’s confirmation prospects, highlighting a very vocal opposition."

But several senators this week criticized the Fed chairman for his role in the banking bailouts during the 2008 financial crisis. Stock markets took a hit during the week partially as a result of the uncertainty surrounding one of the world's largest central banks.



Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Friday helped restore some confidence in Bernanke's renomination by publicly voicing his support


The Senate Banking Committee sent Bernanke's nomination before the full Senate last year with a 16-7 vote. President Barack Obama renominated Bernanke to a second term last year. President George W. Bush first nominated Bernanke in 2007.

13 senators have said they will vote against Bernanke.