Durbin will vote to confirm Bernanke

The second-ranking Senate Democrat on Saturday announced he will vote to confirm Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke.

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) cast his lot for Bernanke one day after Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he too would vote for a second term for the Fed chairman.

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“I will vote to confirm Ben Bernanke to continue to serve as Chairman of the Federal Reserve," Durbin said in a statement. "I saw Ben Bernanke under fire, facing our nation’s most serious economic crisis since the Great Depression. We need his steady hand as we build our economy and create new jobs across America."

Durbin's announcement came on a day when President Barack Obama made calls to senators to ensure that Bernanke's nomination will clear the upper chamber when it comes up for a vote. 

Bernanke has received fire from some senators for his role in the banking bailouts in 2008, the result of a recent wave of voter anger about the struggling economy. Bernanke was first nominated by President George W. Bush in 2007. His term expires Jan. 31.

Earlier Saturday, Senate Banking Committee chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and Budget Committee ranking member Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) predicted that senators will give Bernanke a second term. 

13 senators have said they will oppose Bernanke's renomination.