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Senate confirms Yellen

The Senate on Monday voted 56-26 to confirm Janet Yellen as the first woman to lead the Federal Reserve.

Eleven Republicans joined Democrats present on Monday in voting to confirm Yellen, who will face more scrutiny than perhaps any central bank leader before her when she formally takes the reins this month from the retiring Ben Bernanke.

Yellen will be in control of an institution that has just begun unwinding years’ worth of unprecedented stimulus for the economy while seeing its regulatory workload explode under the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.
All of this activity comes as a growing chorus in Congress is calling for the Fed to come under more scrutiny, something the central bank has responded to by seeking to make its leader more accountable to the public.

Even Yellen’s strongest backers acknowledge she’s taking on a massive role.

“She’s superbly qualified for this assignment,” said Alice Rivlin, a former Fed vice chairwoman who worked with Yellen. “It’s a very big job. It’s a much bigger job than it used to be.”

The challenges facing Yellen were evident even in her confirmation vote.

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