Fed chair nominee Janet Yellen was confirmed by the Senate Banking Committee Thursday morning, 14-8. Three Republicans voted for her; Democrat Joe Manchin voted against her. She is expected to be confirmed by the Senate as a whole. But 2016 hopeful Sen. Marco Rubio announced on Thursday morning he will not be voting for Yellen, who would be the first woman to chair the Federal Reserve. Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz have already said they'll try to block Yellen's nomination.
So Rubio offered these reasons to not like her in a statement:
"Altogether, she has championed policies that have diminished people’s purchasing power by weakening the dollar, made long-term savings less attractive by diminishing returns on this important behavior and put the U.S. economy at increased risk of higher inflation and another future boom-bust."
To be clear, most economists currently see deflation as a bigger risk than inflation.
Paul doesn't want to vote on Yellen until the Senate votes on his (or really, his father's) Audit the Fed bill. Yellen made it clear she opposes the bill in her first Senate confirmation hearing last week: “I would be very concerned about legislation that would subject the Federal Reserve to short-term political pressures that could interfere with that independence,” she said.
Cruz doesn't have much to say about Yellen, other than the fact that he supports Paul and his bill.
Rubio, Paul, and Cruz don't have much to lose by opposing Yellen (unless they care about holding up the nomination of the first woman Fed chair). Yellen will be confirmed by the Senate. This is just a free way to get publicity by opposing someone Democrats love. Right now Rubio is leading Cruz and Paul in our GOP 2016 horse race — maybe opposing Yellen gave him just the boost he needed.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.