Senate confirms two for Fed board

The Federal Reserve Board of Governors will soon be back to full strength with the approval of two nominees Thursday.

Senate confirmed Jay Powell and Jeremy Stein to serve as Fed governors, nearly five months after their nominations. The vote was 74-21 in approval for Stein, a Harvard University professor, and 70-24 for Powell, a former Treasury Department official.

President Barack Obama nominated Powell and Stein for the openings in late December, and the Senate Banking Committee approved them in late March. But some Republicans, including Sen. David Vitter, R-La., delayed full Senate confirmation over concern the two would hew too closely to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.

The vote Thursday came mostly along party lines, with only Republicans voting against confirmation for Powell and Stein.

Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D.m and banking committee chair, expressed his support for the two nominees.

“Jay Powell and Jeremy Stein are ready to get to work, and I’m glad that my Senate colleagues set party politics aside and approved these individuals,” Johnson said in a news release.

Powell and Stein take over unexpired appointments that last through January 2014 and 2018, respectively, and can be reappointed to a 14-year term.

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