National

Dec 3, 2009 8:59 AM by Associated Press

Up for second term, Fed chief heads to Congress

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke goes before the Senate Banking Committee today as he seeks another term as head of the nation's central bank.

He's angered Congress and the public for bailing out Wall Street and failing to detect early signs of the housing collapse. But he's all but certain to be confirmed. That's because even his critics concede that Bernanke helped keep the Great Recession from becoming a second Great Depression.

The Bush administration appointee has also earned points for going further than his predecessors in making the Fed more transparent. But he has detractors. They include Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who says he's so upset about the bailouts he'll try to block Bernanke's nomination by putting it on "hold" when it reaches the Senate floor. That could slow the approval process but is unlikely to derail it.

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