The US Senate is expected to hold a final confirming vote on Ben Bernanke’s nomination for a second term as chairman of the Federal Reserve. A vote on confirmation would likely come shortly after senators vote to clear a procedural roadblock to the nomination.
“We anticipate the confirmation vote tomorrow,” a Democratic aide said. “We think the (confirmation) vote will be tomorrow,” a Republican aide said separately.
Mr Bernanke is widely expected to win confirmation, but only by a relatively narrow margin.
The surprise election last week of a Republican to a Massachusetts US Senate seat long held by Democrats underscored voter anger about the economy’s woes and undercut support for Mr Bernanke, a chief architect of bailouts for Wall Street banks.
While the nomination appeared on track before then, the Massachusetts result sent shock waves through Washington.
A number of senators facing tough re-election battles in November voiced their opposition, raising doubts about whether Mr Bernanke could be confirmed.
A full-court press from President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats, however, appears to have mustered the 60 vote supermajority needed to overcome efforts to block the nomination.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s decision on Tuesday to schedule a procedural vote for Thursday to clear any roadblocks signalled a belief the votes were secured.