A Senate panel on Thursday approved the nomination of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to run the US central bank for another four years.
The Senate Banking Committee voted 16-7 to send Bernanke's nomination to the full Senate for consideration. Approval came after a two-hour debate that heaped both praise and criticism on the Fed chief.
In voting for Bernanke, the panel's chairman, Sen. Christopher Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat, said Bernanke's "wise leadership" will mean "better days do lie ahead."
Although Bernanke, 56, appears to have enough votes in the Senate to win a second term, six Republicans and one Democrat on the committee did line up against him. They blame him for not spotting problems that led to the financial crisis, failing to protect consumers and supporting Wall Street bailouts.