Senate Just Wants to Go Home, Agrees to Yellen Vote

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epa03869714 (FILE) A file photo dated 10 October 2012 showing Janet Yellen, Vice Chair of the US Federal Reserve System, attending a seminar on 'Sovereign Risk, Capital Markets, and Financial Stability: The Interconnections' during the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Annual Meetings in Tokyo, Japan. Former US Secretary of the Treasury Lawrence Summers has withdrawn his name from the list of potential candidates to replace Ben Bernanke as the head of the US Federal Reserve, according to various US media outlets 15 September 2013.  Summers, once the president of Harvard University, and Fed vice chairwoman Janet Yellen have been considered the two leading candidates to succeed Bernanke, whose tenure as Fed chairman expires in January.  EPA/FRANCK ROBICHON
Photo: FRANCK ROBICHON/

Republicans were willing to pull a few all-nighters to block the confirmation of Obama nominees, but working through Christmas Eve – or four days before the holiday – is where they draw the line. In response to Harry Reid scaling back the filibuster, Senate Republicans had been using delay tactics to stall a vote on several nominees, and Reid in turn refused to adjourn for the year. Late Thursday, they reached a bipartisan agreement to vote on the confirmation of Janet Yellen to head the Federal Reserve on Jan. 6. In addition to a procedural vote on Yellen, on Friday the Senate is expected to confirm the nomination of Alejandro Mayorkas as deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, John Koskinen to lead the IRS, and Brian Davis to be a federal judge in Florida. Republicans refused to push votes on six lower-level nominees to 2014, so Obama will probably have to renominate them in 2014.