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Ben Back In

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. Mark Wilson/Getty Images hide caption

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Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The Senate has confirmed Ben Bernanke for a second four-year term at the head of the Federal Reserve by a vote of 70 to 30. The final confirmation vote came after intense lobbying by President Obama and Senate Democratic leaders. The senators needed 60 votes to overcome efforts to block the nomination.

A Fed chairman nominee has never been rejected by the Senate, but the vote for Bernanke was the closest ever. When Bernanke was first nominated in 2005, he was confirmed easily with a voice vote in the Senate. Prior to Bernanke's confirmation, the closest voting margin was 84-16, for Paul Volcker 's second term in 1983.