Monday: Yellen and unemployment in the Senate

The Senate is back today from the holiday break, and will confirm Janet Yellen as the next chair, and the first woman chair, of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.

Senators start work at 2 p.m., and will move to Yellen at 3 p.m. At 5:30 p.m., the Senate will vote to confirm her — there is little drama in this vote, as a simple majority is all it takes to confirm her.

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Yellen is widely seen as a dove who will continue chairman Ben Bernanke's extended low interest rates and quantitative easing programs, and markets rallied on the news of her nomination in early October.

Immediately after the Yellen vote, the Senate will vote to end debate on S. 1845, the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act. This is the proposal to extend emergency unemployment benefits for another three months, through March.

Those benefits, first put in place in 2008 in response to the financial and housing crisis and the following market drop and spike in unemployment, expired on December 28. Senate Democrats have said their first order of business in 2014 would be to extend them, but doing so may depend on finding an offset for the $6.4 billion cost.

Sixty votes will be needed to end debate on bill, which is sponsored by Sens. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.).

The House is out today, and returns Tuesday.