Obama to nominate Yellen as Fed chief

President Obama on Wednesday will nominate Janet Yellen for chairman of the Federal Reserve, according to a White House official.

The president will announce his selection in the East Room of the White House with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on hand, the official said.

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Yellen, who is now the vice chair of the Fed, emerged as the front-runner for the job after Larry Summers withdrew his name from consideration.

If confirmed by the Senate, Yellen would be the first woman to ever hold the top job at the central bank.

Senate Democrats, who broke with precedent by openly lobbying for Yellen's selection, hailed the president's decision.

“She’s an excellent choice and I believe she’ll be confirmed by a wide margin," said Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) in a statement.

Yellen has been a Fed vice chairman since October 2010.

Liberals had pressed for Obama to pick Yellen, and had revolted against the White House as reports suggested Obama was leaning toward picking Summers. 

Obama was asked about the issue during a summer visit to Democratic congressional conferences on Capitol Hill in which he defended Summers.

Yellen is expected to oversee the tapering off of the Fed's massive monthly bond purchases.

Concerns about Yellen's policy stance center around her being too dovish for some on Wall Street, meaning she is more focused on unemployment than controlling inflation.

“I voted against Vice Chairman Yellen’s original nomination to the Fed in 2010 because of her dovish views on monetary policy,” Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), a member of the Senate Banking Committee, which will handle her nomination, said in a statement. “We will closely examine her record since that time, but I am not aware of anything that demonstrates her views have changed.”

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) said Yellen "has a depth of experience that is second to none, and I have no doubt she will be an excellent Federal Reserve Chairman."

He plans to move her nomination in a "timely manner."

-This report was originally published on Tuesday at 7:08 p.m. and last updated on Wednesday at 7:41 a.m.