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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 CorkerSenate GOP faces retirement brain drain Roy Blunt won't run for Senate seat in 2022 It's time for Biden's Cuba MORE (R-Tenn.), Mark KirkMark Steven KirkDuckworth announces reelection bid Brave new world: Why we need a Senate Human Rights Commission  Senate majority battle snags Biden Cabinet hopefuls MORE (R-Ill.) and Tom CoburnThomas (Tom) Allen CoburnConservative group escalates earmarks war by infiltrating trainings Democrats step up hardball tactics in Supreme Court fight COVID response shows a way forward on private gun sale checks 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 ManchinJoe ManchinClose the avenues of foreign meddling Democrats see political winner in tax fight MSNBC's Joy Reid pans Manchin, Sinema as the 'no progress caucus' 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: Amazon wins union election — says 'our employees made the choice' Overnight Defense: Biden proposes 3B defense budget | Criticism comes in from left and right | Pentagon moves toward new screening for extremists The growing threat of China's lawfare MORE (R-Fla.). Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - World mourns the death of Prince Philip The Hill's Morning Report - Biden assails 'epidemic' of gun violence amid SC, Texas shootings Trump faces test of power with early endorsements 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 CruzHarry Reid reacts to Boehner book excerpt: 'We didn't mince words' GOP lawmakers block Biden assistance to Palestinians Cruz on Boehner: 'I wear with pride his drunken, bloviated scorn' MORE (R-Texas) has joined that cause.