It’s one thing for Bernie Sanders, who is an independent in more ways than one, to put a hold on Bernanke’s confirmation (a threat to filibuster, which if executed, will at a minimum will mess up the Senate’s calendar for a few days) and quite another from someone across the aisle, and a member of the Banking Committee to boot, to place a hold of his own.
As Ben Bernanke’s confirmation hearing begins in the Senate Banking Committee, a source tells FDL News that one Senate staffer and an outside source confirmed to him that at least one Republican on the committee will also place a hold on the Federal Reserve chairman, throwing the process into potential turmoil and giving Chris Dodd a difficult series of choices to make.
Dodd, who just announced his intention to vote for Bernanke’s confirmation in the Banking Committee and on the floor of the Senate, would be in charge of the decision to honor or ignore that hold. The fact that Dodd tried to place a hold on the FISA Amendments Act in 2007-08, and was generally ignored by Harry Reid, just adds a layer of irony to the process.
The source, speaking on condition of anonymity because of his work behind the scenes on the Bernanke confirmation, told me that two separate sources assured him that the Republican hold would be made public after today’s hearing. One staffer said that two Republicans would place the hold, while the other said it would just be one. The source said that the trans-partisan nature of opposition to Bernanke, with a conservative Republican and a socialist independent uniting to block the appointment, shows the intensity of the feelings on the issue. “It’s great to see everyone come together – Democrats, Republicans, progressives and libertarians, against this Federal Reserve, which is not federal, and not a reserve, just a group printing money and giving it to their buddies,” the source said.
While most people think that the multiple holds would delay the process, it’s unclear whether or not it would succeed.
Cracks are emerging, needless to say…the fact that anyone is even suggesting that opposition to Bernanke MIGHT succeed is a sea change from the view of the matter a mere week ago.
Update 4:00 PM: It’s Senator Bunning, and he says other Republicans will join him: