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Durbin voices support for Bernanke

Bernanke traveled to the Hill Monday to meet with Minority Whip Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinHannity, Kimmel, Farrow among Time's '100 Most Influential' The Hill's Morning Report: 200 Days to the Election Dems walk tightrope on Pompeo nomination MORE (D-Ill.), who afterwards said he had some concerns but repeated his support.

“During the darkest days of this economic recession, when this country was teetering on the brink of a depression, this man and his leadership at the Federal Reserve made a difference,” Durbin said.

He said Bernanke had made critical decisions “which saved our country from the abyss."

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The Senate is expected to vote on Bernanke’s nomination by the end of the week. His term expires at the end of January.

Durbin said he reviewed with Bernanke a list of concerns that Democratic senators have raised about his tenure. Specifically, Durbin said he and Bernanke discussed the Fed's forecasting ability, and that Bernanke was “frank and candid that mistakes were made” in failing to foresee the 2009 economic collapse. The two also discussed transparency and accountability, with Bernanke pledging more of both, as well as the need for more consumer protection and job growth.

At the White House, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the Obama administration remains confident in a safe margin of support. Gibbs said a vote for Bernanke would send a message of economic stability.

“This is an important opportunity to demonstrate greater stability in our overall system by approving his renomination for another term at the Fed,” he said.

To shore up the nomination, several prominent Democrats such as Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidDems walk tightrope on Pompeo nomination The Memo: Teens rankle the right with gun activism Dems to party: Go on offense with Trump’s alleged affairs MORE (D-Nev.), Durbin, John KerryJohn Forbes KerryNorth Korea is moved by Pompeo diplomacy, but Dems dig in deeper Ex-Obama official Marie Harf, Guy Benson to co-host Fox News Radio show Five things to know about Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska MORE (D-Mass.) and Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) issued statements of support for Bernanke in recent days. The nomination received a measure of support on Sunday from Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnell32 male senators back Senate women's calls to change harassment rules Duckworth brings her baby to Senate vote, drawing a crowd FreedomWorks backs Jim Jordan for House Speaker MORE (R-Ky.), who said he expected Bernanke would be confirmed with a bipartisan vote.

After a plunge on Friday, Wall Street also steadied itself Monday, with the Dow nudging upwards 24 points. It had lost more than 500 points in the last three business days last week.

Durbin announced over the weekend that he planned to support Bernanke, but arranged Monday's meeting to raise concerns over a lack of transparency and accountability. In a statement issued earlier Monday, he threatened to push banking reform legislation - a longtime priority of Durbin's - if the Fed does not.

A survey by The Hill shows 35 senators on record as supporting Bernanke, with 17 opposed.