Paul says Yellen will win Senate confirmation despite holds

Republican Sen. Rand Paul said Thursday he expects Janet Yellen to be confirmed as the new Federal Reserve chairman despite his intention to hold up her nomination.

Paul put a hold on Yellen's nomination in an effort to coax an audit of the central bank. 

"In the old days, you could place a hold on and keep it forever," Paul told Bloomberg's "Political Capital with Al Hunt" set to air on Friday night. 

Even if I stand on the floor and filibuster in a personal fashion, I can only hold it there for two days."

While he expects Yellen will be confirmed — a hearing is expected at Senate Banking in Nov. 14 — he argued there is bipartisan support for a bill that would allow for an audit of the Fed and a vote should be allowed. 

Still, he is pessimistic about a bill passing. 

“I don't know that we can win, sometimes they play a game, they don't let you win with 51," he said.

"You've got to have 60. It's unlikely to have 60."

He said the measure has 25 co-sponsors. 

Paul is pushing legislation that mirrors the legislation pushed for two decades by his father and former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), who was keen on closing the Fed's doors. 

He argued that Yellen has said that greater transparency is needed at the Fed and the legislation would provide for that.

"Apparently, Janet Yellen's been in favor of transparency at the Fed," he said.

"That's all we're asking for, is an open audit a year after the fact."

Yellen, if confirmed, would succeed outgoing Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, who departs Jan. 31. 

Paul is not alone in his hold. 

Several Republican lawmakers, including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C. ), said Wednesday they will block high level Obama nominations until Congress receives eyewitnesses statements made to the FBI in the wake of the Benghazi attack.

"That's the only leverage we have," Graham said. 

 

Yellen has started her round of sit-down meetings with lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

Senate Banking Chairman Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) said Thursday that "she has a keen understanding of how the Federal Reserve’s work impacts every American” and he vowed to quickly move her nomination through his panel.