Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will vote against confirming Janet Yellen to chair the Federal Reserve, his office told Business Insider on Tuesday.
Yellen is a key architect of current Fed Chair Ben Bernanke’s stimulus program. In a statement provided by his office, McConnell suggested Yellen’s policies would be more of the same — and said that her confirmation should be an opportunity to “scrutinize the recent actions and the historic mission of the Fed.”
“I will not be supporting Janet Yellen’s confirmation to the Fed, in large part over serious concerns I have about her commitment to the most important job of the central bank — maintaining the purchasing power of the dollar,” McConnell said in the statement. “After years of federal stimulus, we need a Fed chairman who is unquestionably committed to a strong dollar.
“The confirmation of a new Fed chief is a perfect time for the Senate to scrutinize the recent actions and the historic mission of the Fed. That’s why I support Senator Paul’s bill to audit the Fed and challenge the Democrats to allow it to come up for debate.”
McConnell is a co-sponsor of Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) Federal Reserve Transparency Act. In late October, Paul said he was considering putting a “hold” on Yellen’s nomination to get a vote on the bill, which supporters argue would bring more transparency to the Fed.
A vote on Yellen’s confirmation is expected to come later this week. Because of the recent Senate rules change on filibusters, Democrats can now confirm most judicial and executive-branch nominees by simple majority votes rather than the previous 60 needed to break a filibuster.
Yellen’s nomination passed the Senate Banking Committee by a 14-8 vote on Nov. 21. Republican Sens. Tom Coburn (Okla.), Bob Corker (Tenn.), and Mark Kirk (Ill.) joined 11 of the 12 Democrats on the panel in voting to advance Yellen’s nomination.
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