McCain/Graham Threaten to Delay yellen

October 30th, 2013 9:49 pm | by John Jansen |

The WSJ reports that Senator John McCain and his sidekick Senator Lindsay Graham have threatened to filibuster the nomination of Janet Yellen to head the Federal Reserve. The opposition to Yellen is not related to monetary policy or economic policy but derives from the ongoing attempts of those Senators to obtain information on the attacks on American diplomats in Beenghazi Libya in September 2012. Here is full story from the WSJ:

 

McCain Threatens to Delay Confirmation of Yellen as Fed Chief

Republican Senator to Use Delaying Tactic in Bid to Obtain Information on Benghazi Attacks from Obama Administration

By

Kristina Peterson
Updated Oct. 30, 2013 7:38 p.m. ET
WASHINGTON—GOP Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham will attempt to delay confirmation of Janet Yellen to lead the Federal Reserve in a bid to obtain information from the Obama administration about the attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, Mr. McCain said Wednesday.

Ms. Yellen, Mr. Obama’s pick to become the first chairwoman of the central bank, is expected to secure the support of nearly all Democrats, but a handful of opponents among Senate Republicans have surfaced recently. Sens. Graham, of South Carolina, and McCain, of Arizona, threatened this week to put a “hold” on Ms. Yellen’s nomination in an effort to press the White House to release more information about the Benghazi attacks on Sept. 11, 2012.

“That’s the only way we get their attention,” Mr. McCain said in an interview Wednesday evening. “It’s the only way we get any response.” Mr. Graham’s office confirmed he would also hold up Ms. Yellen’s nomination to press for more information about the Benghazi attacks.

The lawmakers are pushing the White House to make the attack’s survivors available to Congress and to release the statements they gave to the Federal Bureau of Investigation within 48 hours of the attack, an aide said. Earlier this year, Mr. Graham had cited concerns over Benghazi in his efforts to delay confirmation of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

Democrats have expressed confidence that Ms. Yellen, currently the vice chairwoman of the Fed’s Board of Governors, will be confirmed. Only a handful of GOP lawmakers have said they plan to try to delay the Senate from voting on her nomination later this fall and none have aimed their criticism at Ms. Yellen herself. Mr. McCain noted Wednesday that he was pushing to only delay the nomination and said that didn’t indicate he would ultimately oppose Ms. Yellen.

Last week Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) said he would put a hold on Ms. Yellen’s nomination unless the Senate voted on his bill to increase congressional scrutiny of the central bank.

A hold is a procedural tactic that prevents the Senate from moving unanimously to approve a nominee, forcing a series of floor votes instead. However, Senate aides said they always expected to hold full roll-call votes for a high-profile position such as the chairwoman of the central bank. A hold can be overcome if at least 60 senators support Ms. Yellen in a procedural vote. Then, just a majority of the 100-member Senate would be needed to approve the nomination. There will be 55 senators in the chamber’s Democratic caucus on Thursday, when Democratic New Jersey senator-elect Cory Booker is sworn in. The Republican caucus has 45 members.

Ms. Yellen is expected to begin meeting this week with lawmakers on the Senate Banking Committee, which is expected to hold her confirmation hearing in November.

The Republican opposition could delay Senate confirmation of her nomination to succeed Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, whose term as chairman ends Jan. 31. But even if she isn’t confirmed for the position before he leaves, she would become the acting chairwoman of the Fed board of governors in his absence.

A Fed spokeswoman declined to comment.

—Victoria McGrane contributed to this article.

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