WASHINGTON — The Senate on Thursday confirmed two nominees chosen by President Obama for the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, overcoming Republican objections and bringing the seven-member board to full strength for the first time since 2006, before the economic crisis struck.
The Harvard economist Jeremy Stein and the investment banker and lawyer Jerome Powell were confirmed easily after a morning of debate. The vote for Mr. Stein was 70-24, and for Mr. Powell 74-12.
For months, Senator David Vitter, a Republican of Louisiana and a member of the Banking Committee, had been holding up the nominations, saying the two men would be “rubber stamps” for the policies of Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and, by implication, the Obama administration.
But in the aftermath of JPMorgan Chase’s recently acknowledged trading losses, which have raised questions about whether the Fed and other regulatory agencies have a tight enough hand on the regulatory reins, Senate leaders found that there were enough votes to get around procedural obstructions under the Senate’s rules.