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Bernanke Sees More Opposition from Left and Right

5925790Support for a second term for Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke continued to trickle in today, but the Fed chief is also facing new criticism from both the left and the right.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) released a statement today saying he will vote against Bernanke's reconfirmation, which the Senate is expected to vote on this week.

"Our country is still facing an economic crisis, and while I appreciate the service that Chairman Bernanke has performed as Federal Reserve Chairman, I believe that he must be held accountable for many of the decisions that contributed to our financial meltdown," McCain said. "Therefore, I plan to oppose Chairman Ben Bernanke's confirmation for a new term as Federal Reserve Chairman."

McCain will have to hold up his conservative credentials this year if he wants to keep his 2010 primary challenger at bay. Former Rep. J.D. Hayworth announced last week he is giving up his popular conservative talk radio show to run against McCain for the GOP nomination for the Senate.

Bernanke faces opposition from other conservative Republicans like Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Jim Bunning of Kentucky.

Meanwhile, the progressive grassroots group sent an e-mail to its members today, urging them to tell their senators to vote against Bernanke's reconfirmation.

"Bernanke presided over the biggest Wall Street bailout in history, making trillions of dollars in loans to big banks with no oversight," the e-mail said. "But after taking extreme measures to save the banks, Bernanke has shown no interest in helping regular folks who can't find jobs, even though ensuring 'full employment' is explicitly part of his mandate."

Some progressive senators like Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Barbara Boxer of California are already planning on voting against Bernanke's reconfirmation.

A number of key moderates, however, have come out in support of Bernanke while the Obama administration is arguing that rejecting his nomination would lead to "very troubling" reaction from the financial markets.

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) announced his support for Bernanke today, along with Democratic Sens. Max Baucus of Montana and Dianne Feinstein of California.