ABC News' Sunlen Miller and Z. Byron Wolf report:
The White House expressed confidence that Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke will be confirmed to his second term, despite mounting opposition on Capitol Hill, and a worry among the Senate Democratic leadership that there may not be enough votes.
“The president has a great deal of confidence in what Chairman Bernanke did to bring our economy back from the brink,” White House deputy press secretary Robert Gibbs said this morning aboard Air Force One, “He continues to think he is the best person for the job and will be confirmed by the United States Senate."
So far there are five Democratic caucus members who have said they will oppose Bernanke: Sen. Bernie Sander, I-Vt., Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., Russ Feingold, D-Wis., and Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.
The Democrats and Independents who publically oppose Bernanke have not been cheerleaders for him for a long time. Sanders, Dorgan and Feingold, were among the ten Democratic caucus members who voted against the TARP program that Bernanke helped sell to Congress in 2008. Merkley opposed TARP on the campaign trail – as did a number of the Democrats first elected to the Senate in 2008.
And those leading the charge against him in both parties were the most vocal TARP opponents. Yet Boxer, a TARP supporter, says she supports Bernanke’s actions in 2008, but thinks it’s time for a fresh start at the Fed.
Bernanke’s term will expire on January 31st.
-Sunlen Miller and Z. Byron Wolf