Ben Bernanke, President Bush's nominee to become the new chairman of the Federal Reserve, goes before a Senate committee for a confirmation hearing. Bernanke, the 51-year-old chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers, is expected to be confirmed with little difficulty.
In his opening remarks, Bernanke promised the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs that he would maintain the Fed's independence from outside influces. He said, "I will be strictly independent of all political influences and will be guided solely by the Federal Reserve's mandate from Congress and by the public interest."
Bernanke also referenced the importance of "intellectual continuity" in the Fed's leadership. Stressing the need for stability in economic policcy, Bernanke said, "If I am confirmed, I will have the privilege of drawing on the great strengths of this institution to ensure a continuity of the policy process that transcends any single person."
Outgoing Chairman Alan Greenspan is scheduled to leave his post on Jan. 31, 2006.