The President will nominate Federal Reserve Vice Chairwoman Janet Yellen for her boss Ben Bernanke's job, according to the Wall Street Journal. That announcement, based on multiple reports, will happen on Wednesday. Bernanke is expected to leave the Fed Chairmanship in January at the end of his term. The announcement is not entirely unexpected: with Obama's favored Larry Summers officially out of the race, many believed it was only a matter of time before the president tapped Yellen for the job. Politico's Jennifer Epstein reports that the announcement is scheduled for Wednesday at 3 p.m.
Of course, Yellen's nomination is subject to Senate confirmation, and Congress is a bit preoccupied with the current government shutdown and impending debt limit deadline. In other words, it's not clear when her confirmation would make it to the top of the Senate's to-do list. The New York Times notes that Senate Republicans may decide to filibuster her nomination, requiring the Senate to pass it with 60 votes — but that's more or less typical at this point for major nominations and bills. Whenever her nomination is confirmed, the Journal reports, here's the short version of what a Yellen chair means:
Ms. Yellen has been the Fed's second-in-command since 2010. From that perch, she's been a close adviser to Mr. Bernanke as he devised new easy money programs aimed at supporting economic growth. Her nomination would mean the Fed is unlikely to make any unusual lurches in its interest-rate decisions in the near-term.
Until Summers dropped out of the running, Yellen was seen as an extremely-qualified underdog for the job. Summers, long believed to be Obama's top pick, withdrew his name from consideration in September in anticipation of an "acrimonious" confirmation process.
This post has been updated with new information.