In From the Cold

So enough Senators made it back to Washington last night (others had trouble with delayed flights attributable to the arctic weather) to confirm Janet Yellen as Federal Reserve Board chairman by a 56-26 vote. But there weren’t enough Senators for a key procedural vote on extended UI benefits, which was postponed until today.

All 45 Senate Democrats present voted for Yellen, which is interesting given the long, long, intra-Democratic debate over this position that mainly hung fire when the president seemed to be determined to go with Larry Summers. Republicans voted against her 26-11. Speaking for opponents, and for the ghost of Mr. Potter, was, of course, Chuck Grassley:

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, criticized Yellen for supporting the Fed’s “easy money” policies of low interest rates and bond purchases.

“No one can deny that the risks are real and could be devastating” if those policies continue for too long, Grassley said.

Yes, inflation stalks the earth as the great threat to prosperity, now and forever, and the godless liberals perpetually risk it in order to give EZ credit to shiftless people who need a good bout of unemployment to learn their place. Rock on, Chuck.

In any event, if Congress accomplishes nothing more this year, which is always a possibility, it’s accomplished this one thing, and it’s good to see the Fed in capable hands.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.