Senate to vote on Bernanke on Thursday

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has scheduled a cloture vote for Thursday on Ben Bernanke's confirmation to a second term as Federal Reserve chairman.

Bernanke must receive at least 60 votes because several senators have placed holds on the Fed chief's confirmation. Bernanke's current term is up on Sunday, Jan. 31.

Assuming the cloture vote passes and senators debate the nomination for 30 hours, a final vote could take place on Friday.

The Fed chairman has faced criticism from Democrats and Republicans over his role in the government's bailout efforts.

Bernanke's confirmation was uncertain at the end of last week, until Reid and other senators, including Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), announced their support.

Most analysts expect Bernanke to be confirmed, but his nomination has been among the most contentious ever for a Fed chairman.