Senate panel clears Bernanke nomination

WASHINGTON The Senate Banking Committee voted 16-7 on Thursday to send Bernanke's nomination to the full Senate for consideration.

Although Bernanke, 56, appears to have enough votes to win a second term, some senators are lining up against him. They blame him for not spotting problems that led to the financial crisis, failing to protect consumers and supporting Wall Street bailouts.

So angered by the bailouts, Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent liberal from Vermont, wants to block the nomination on the Senate floor. He has placed a "hold" on the nomination, meaning it will require a super-majority of 60 votes to confirm him.

Bernanke's term ends Jan. 31 and unless Sanders relents a full Senate vote on his nomination is not expected until next month.

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