On Wednesday President Barack Obama will nominate Janet Yellen to replace Ben Bernanke as the chair of the Federal Reserve. She currently serves as vice chair of the Fed, and would be the first woman to lead the central bank.
Bernanke is stepping down in January after eight years as Fed chairman, and the search for his replacement has been uncharacteristically public. Yellen emerged as a top candidate after Larry Summers, who Obama reportedly favored for the job, withdrew his name from consideration. Some Democrats opposed the prospect of nominating Obama's former economic advisor because they said he did not support strict enough financial regulation.
Yellen supports maintaining the Fed's policy of keeping interest rates low as the country still struggles to shake off the effects of the 2008 financial crisis. She is likely to continue Bernanke's monetary policies, and considers stimulating the economy more important at the moment than worries regarding inflation.
She must be confirmed by the Democratically-controlled Senate, and bipartisan support of her nomination is expected. Some senators, like Chuck Schumer of New York, are already voicing their support for her, but others say she shouldn't expect to sail through the confirmation process.
Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee opposed Yellen's appointment as vice chair, and has already said he would likely oppose her to head the Fed as well.
"She wasn't someone I could support in 2010 and I doubt that is going to change, but the president looks like he has consolidated his base and I don't know how tough her nomination will actually be," Corker said. "This ought to be an interesting hearing and I look forward to learning what her views are, but I've seen nothing to change my view of where she is relative to monetary policy in the past two or three years."
Before her post as vice chair of the Federal Reserve, Yellen was president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, and was as a professor at the University of California, Berkeley .
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