An unenthusiastic Senate granted Ben S. Bernanke a secondterm as Chairman of the Federal Reserve, with a 70-30 vote underscoring thecriticism leveled at the central bank for its part leading to the financialcrisis.

The vote was the weakest endorsement for a Fed Chairmanin 96 years. In rancorous debates, lawmakers claimed the Federal Reserve hadignored warning signs of imminent bubbles in both the housing and creditmarkets and had failed to reign in banks from making dangerous lendingpractices.

Of the 30 dissenting votes, 18 came from Republicans, 11from Democrats and one independent.

"As the nation continues to face the consequences ofthe worst recession in a generation, Ben Bernanke has provided wisdom andsteady leadership in the midst of the financial and economic crisis," saidPresident Obama in a statement.

 

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