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Conservative group targets Yellen vote

Janet Yellen’s nomination to take over the Federal Reserve ran into conservative opposition on Monday as the advocacy arm of the Heritage Foundation urged senators to vote against her.

Heritage Action announced Monday that it would include a vote on Yellen’s nomination, which is expected to take place in December, on its congressional scorecard. A vote in favor of Yellen will be rated negatively.

The group argues Yellen has failed to present a plan to wind down the Fed’s massively expanded portfolio and said that is reason for the Senate to block her nomination.

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The Fed has faced heavy GOP scrutiny as Chairman Ben Bernanke, with Yellen’s backing, has led the central bank to take unprecedented steps to boost the economy. Interest rates have been kept near zero for years, and the Fed is buying billions of dollars a month in bonds in an effort to further lower rates and boost lending.

Conservatives have warned this accommodative policy is ineffective and carries significant dangers when it comes time to remove that stimulus. Fed officials are preparing to begin slowing the support in the coming months.

In addition to blasting Fed policy, Heritage Action also criticized the Fed’s expanded role in the wake of the financial crisis and enactment of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. The regulator offered a massive lifeline to financial institutions during the financial meltdown via a host of emergency loans, and now plays a significant role with other regulators in implementing the landmark financial overhaul.

Despite the growing conservative opposition, Yellen had been expected to receive enough votes for confirmation — and that was before Senate Democrats changed the rules last week to ensure majority votes on nominees. Now Yellen can be confirmed with just Democratic votes.

If confirmed, Yellen would become the first ever female head of the Fed.

During her confirmation hearing, Yellen, the Fed's current vice chair, stuck by its policies while acknowledging they must be wound down at some point.

She received the backing of three GOP senators on the Senate Banking Committee when that panel approved her earlier this month. Sens. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerIt's time for Biden's Cuba GOP lawmaker patience runs thin with Trump tactics Former GOP senator: Republicans cannot let Trump's 'reckless' post-election claims stand MORE (R-Tenn.), Mark KirkMark Steven KirkSenate majority battle snags Biden Cabinet hopefuls The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Senate makes SCOTUS nominee Barrett a proxy for divisive 2020 Senate Republicans scramble to put Trump at arm's length MORE (R-Ill.) and Tom CoburnThomas (Tom) Allen CoburnDemocrats step up hardball tactics in Supreme Court fight COVID response shows a way forward on private gun sale checks Inspector general independence must be a bipartisan priority in 2020 MORE (R-Okla.) all backed her nomination, while the remaining seven Republicans opposed her.

Yellen does not enjoy unanimous support among Democrats, even though several openly advocated for her nomination this summer. Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinSenate Democrats vote to provide 0 unemployment benefits into September Senate GOP gets short-lived win on unemployment fight McConnell makes failed bid to adjourn Senate after hours-long delay MORE (D-W.Va.), citing his concerns with Fed policies, voted against Yellen in committee.

A handful of Republican senators have announced they plan to vote against Yellen on the Senate floor, including Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioHillicon Valley: YouTube to restore Trump's account | House-passed election bill takes aim at foreign interference | Senators introduce legislation to create international tech partnerships Senators introduce bill creating technology partnerships to compete with China DeSantis's rising GOP profile fuels 2024 talk MORE (R-Fla.). Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulWhite House open to reforming war powers amid bipartisan push House approves George Floyd Justice in Policing Act Bipartisan group of senators introduces bill to rein in Biden's war powers MORE (R-Ky.) has called for a vote on his bill fully auditing the Fed’s activities before considering her nomination, and Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzDeSantis, Pence tied in 2024 Republican poll Democrats under pressure to deliver on labor's 'litmus test' bill Crenshaw pours cold water on 2024 White House bid: 'Something will emerge' MORE (R-Texas) has joined that cause.