Page last updated at 15:22 GMT, Sunday, 24 January 2010

Support for Bernanke confirmation

Ben Bernanke, Federal Reserve Chairman
Ben Bernanke replaced Alan Greenspan as chairman in 2006

The White House says it is confident of Ben Bernanke's confirmation as Federal Reserve chairman for a second term.

The top Republican in the US Senate, Mitch McConnell, also said that he believed Mr Bernanke would be confirmed with bi-partisan support.

However Mr McConnell did not say if he would be voting for Mr Bernanke.

There has been opposition from senators in both parties to Mr Bernanke's second term. Critics say he did not do enough to prevent the economic crisis.

Many feel he has paid too much attention to Wall Street and not enough attention to the general American public - where unemployment has touched 10% and many are struggling with mortgage repayments.

Senators are scheduled to vote on Mr Bernanke by the end of the week.

Mr Obama is thought to have contacted Senate allies over the weekend to make the case for Mr Bernanke.

"The readings he's getting from his conversations are that Chairman Bernanke will be confirmed," Senior White House adviser David Axelrod told CNN.

"We're still in a fragile state here, even though the economy is growing and we need his leadership. He has been a very steady hand in this crisis," he added.

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