WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate has cleared the way for Janet Yellen to succeed Ben Bernanke as head of the Federal Reserve.
Senators voted 59-34 Friday to end debate on the president's nomination of Yellen. Approval is expected Jan. 6, the day the Senate returns from winter recess.
The 67-year-old Yellen will become the first woman to lead the Fed in its century-old history. She will also be the first Democrat to lead the Fed since Paul Volcker left in 1987.
Yellen is currently vice chair of the Fed.
Bernanke told reporters that Yellen supported the Fed's decision this week to gradually reduce the monthly bond purchases the Fed has been making to goose the economy. The move comes amid signs the economy is improving.