By Erik Wasson - 11/21/13 09:40 AM EST
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) announced Thursday that he will vote against the nomination of Janet Yellen to become the next chairman of the Federal Reserve.
The presidential prospect, eager to burnish his conservative credentials, said he opposes Yellen because she has supported the Fed's easy money policy known as quantative easing. The Fed has been buying $85 billion in securities each month as a way to pump money into the economy, which has yet to fully emerge from the deepest recession since the 1930s.
“While Dr. Yellen is an accomplished individual, I will be voting against her nomination to chair the Fed because of her role as a lead architect in authoring monetary policies that threaten the short and long-term prospects of strong economic growth and job creation," Rubio said in a statement.
"Altogether, she has championed policies that have diminished people’s purchasing power by weakening the dollar, made long-term savings less attractive by diminishing returns on this important behavior, and put the U.S. economy at increased risk of higher inflation and another future boom-bust," he added. “In light of all this and her inclination to support the Fed’s current accommodative policies, I don’t have the confidence that she is the best choice to lead this independent institution in the years to come.”
The Senate Banking Committee will vote Thursday on the Yellen nomination, and at this point, she is expected to garner the 60 votes needed on the Senate floor to become Ben Bernanke's replacement. Rubio is not a member of the Banking Committee.
Yellen was chosen by President Obama after liberals made clear they would not support former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers as the next Federal Reserve chairman, over his past opposition to stiff banking regulations.
The 60-vote threshold could change if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) makes good on his threat to use the "nuclear option" to prevent filibusters of presidential nominees.