Hoping Yellen not a 'bad policy enabler': Corker

Wednesday, 9 Oct 2013 | 8:07 AM ET
Why I'm opposed to Yellen: Corker
Wednesday, 9 Oct 2013 | 8:04 AM ET
Sen. Bob Corker, Senate Banking Committee member (R-TN) says he's going to look at Yellen's record and that he wants to understand how she plans to get out of quantitative easing. I want to make sure she doesn't view herself as an enabler, he says.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., told CNBC on Wednesday that he wants to make sure Federal Reserve Vice Chairwoman Janet Yellen doesn't enable bad policy in Congress should she get the central bank top job. But he conceded she'll be likely confirmed.

"I felt like she was not very modest about role of monetary policy in the economy. I don't see any evidence that's changed," Corker said in a "Squawk Box" interview. The Republican from Tennessee is a member of the Senate Banking Committee—the panel that will hold a hearing on Yellen's appointment, and vote yes-or-no on whether to send her nomination to the full Democrat-controlled Senate. In 2010, he voted against her original nomination to the Fed because of her dovish views.

Coker said he wants to make sure "she doesn't view herself as an enabler of bad policy" within the Congress—referring to the budget stalemate in Washington that has partially shut down the government and kept the Democrats and Republicans apart on increasing the debt ceiling before next week's deadline.

President Barack Obama is scheduled to announce Wednesday afternoon Yellen as his pick to be the next Fed chair. The appointment will come shortly after the central bank releases the minutes from its September meeting, during which policymakers decided against tapering their $85 billion monthly bond-buying program.

"At the end of the day, the [QE] trade is halfway on. It's hard to say what the effects are going to be," said Corker. "It's kind of like halftime in the national championship."

He added he wants to "understand how she expects to get out of the trade. Why there wasn't tapering that took place [in September]; when will it take place; any evidence that quantitative easing is actually working relative to employment."

"I look forward to learning what her views are," he continued. "But again, I've seen nothing to change my view of where she is relative to monetary policy in the last two or three years." Despite his views on Yellen, Corker said, "I shouldn't say this, but in all likelihood, she will" be confirmed.

Van Hollen: Fed sheltered economy during very bad storm
Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) tells "Squawk Box" what he thinks about Janet Yellen's qualifications to run the Federal Reserve.

In a separate "Squawk Box" interview Wednesday, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, echoed those sentiments: "I think it's going to be relatively easy."

"She's got a stellar background and record, experience to do the job. My sense is that it could be a continuation of the kind of policies we've seen under Ben Bernanke," Van Hollen said. "Some people may not like that. [But] I happen to think that the Bernanke policies have helped shelter this economy during a very bad storm."

By CNBC's Matthew J. Belvedere. Follow him on Twitter @Matt_SquawkCNBC.


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