WASHINGTON, May 21 (UPI) -- Former Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer was confirmed by the U.S Senate to the Federal Reserve's board, delaying a vote to nominate him as its vice chair.
Fischer was approved Wednesday by a 68-27 vote, moving him closer to becoming Fed Chair Janet Yellen's second-in-command. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that the second vote would be delayed until "some time later."
The vote adds another member to the Fed's board, which is currently short-staffed. A series of resignations and a slow confirmation processes has left three vacancies on the board, with another vacancy expected when Jeremy Stein steps down on May 28. Lael Brainard, another Obama nominee to the board, is also expected to be confirmed when the Senate votes on his nomination.
Fischer joins the central bank at a time when it is scaling down its bond purchase program and is considering a suitable time to raise interest rates. Yellen, who had requested Fischer be appointed to the Fed, will now have a trusted accomplice helping her deal with scaling back the Fed's most aggressive monetary stimulus.
Fischer, who holds citizenship in both the U.S. and Israel, was credited with helping Israel weather the global financial crisis better than most other nations. He earned a doctorate in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and later joined the faculty as an associate professor teaching future central bankers Ben Bernanke and Mario Draghi.