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Bernie Sanders on Brown Win: It's the Economy...

January 20, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

The shocking Massachusetts Senate election has everyone talking about health care. But not Sen. Bernie Sanders [I, VT]. He thinks the Massachusetts voters were reacting to the state of the economy, not the health care bill.

In a statement released on Wednesday, he said that he expects more Senate Democrats to come out against the confirmation of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke for another term:

“I sense that many Democrats see the Massachusetts election as a wake-up call,” Sanders said. “There is a growing understanding that our economy is in severe distress, a greater appreciation that people are disgusted with the never-ending greed on Wall Street, and a better recognition that we need a new direction at the Fed.

“People do not want another term for the man whose major job as Fed chairman was to protect the safety and soundness of our financial system but instead was asleep at the switch,” he added. “I am confident that more and more senators understand that we need a new Fed and a new Wall Street and will oppose Bernanke’s confirmation.”

Bernanke’s current term expires at midnight, Jan. 31st. If he’s not confirmed by then, Fed Vice Chairman Donald Kohn will take over until either Bernanke or a new nominee is confirmed as Chairman. Sanders and four Republican senators already have “holds” on Bernanke’s confirmation, which means, basically, that they can work together to delay the confirmation process for several days. Bernanke’s nomination was passed out of the Senate Banking Committee on Dec. 17 by a 16-7 vote.

Some related thoughts at Seeking Alpha: “The same men who helped get the economy into this mess (the bankers, Geithner, Summers, Bernanke, etc) are the same men who are going to bury [Obama’s] re-election hopes in 2012 if he doesn’t start reshaping his focus.”

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