December 19, 2013


WASHINGTON – This morning, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-SD) took to the Senate Floor to call on his colleagues to confirm Dr. Janet Yellen to be Chair of the Federal Reserve.

Below are Chairman Johnson’s remarks as prepared for delivery.

“Mr. President, I rise to speak in support of Dr. Janet Yellen to be Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

“As we continue to recover from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, we need a strong and thoughtful Chairman of the Federal Reserve. We need a Chair who has learned from our economic successes and mistakes over the past several decades. We need a Chair who understands how monetary policy affects the everyday lives of Americans seeking employment, or saving for retirement. And we need a Chair who understands the importance of implementing Wall Street reform to promote financial stability. Dr. Yellen has all these qualities, and she is ideally suited to be the next Fed Chair.

“Dr. Yellen’s experience is unmatched. She currently serves as a Member and Vice Chair of the Board of Governors; she previously served as a Member of the Board of Governors in the 1990s; she was the Chair of President Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisors; and she served six years as President of the San Francisco Fed.

“Dr. Yellen also has an impressive academic record. She is a professor at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and was previously a professor at Harvard University, as well as a faculty member at the London School of Economics. Dr. Yellen graduated summa cum laude from Brown University, and received her Ph.D. in economics from Yale.

“Dr. Yellen has written numerous research papers on the labor market, unemployment, monetary policy, and the economy. Her expertise in these areas, including her understanding of the relationship between Fed policy and the labor market, would be valuable as we chart the course back to full employment.

“But you don’t have to take my word for it, Dr. Yellen’s economic expertise is borne out by the facts. The New York Times recently noted that she was “the first Fed official, in 2005, to describe the rise in housing prices as a bubble that might damage the economy. She was also the first, in 2008, to say that the economy had fallen into a recession.” And the Wall Street Journal recently analyzed 700 predictions made between 2009 and 2012 in speeches and congressional testimony by 14 Federal Reserve policymakers, and found Dr. Yellen was the most accurate.

“At her confirmation hearing, Dr. Yellen displayed her impressive understanding of our complex, 21st century economy. She showed that she understands the complexities of Fed policy-making, and that – though abstract to many – monetary policy has ripple effects that affect the everyday lives of workers, savers, small-businesses, and job-seekers.

“Dr. Yellen has proven through her extensive and impressive record in public service and academia that she is most qualified to be the next Chair of the Federal Reserve. We need her expertise at the helm of the Fed as our nation continues to recover from the Great Recession, completes Wall Street Reform rulemakings, and continues to enhance the stability of our financial sector. I am excited to cast my vote to confirm her as the first woman to serve as Chair of the Federal Reserve, and I urge my colleagues to do the same.”