Yellen nomination to head Fed clears U.S. Senate procedural hurdle

Friday, 20 Dec 2013 | 12:02 PM ET

WASHINGTON, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Janet Yellen, an unwavering advocate of the Federal Reserve's aggressive steps to boost the U.S. economy, on Friday took a big step toward becoming the first woman to head the central bank as her nomination cleared a Senate Republican procedural hurdle.

On a vote of 59-34, the Senate agreed to end debate on President Barack Obama's nomination of Yellen. A vote to confirm her is set for Jan. 6.

If approved, as widely expected, Yellen would succeed Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke after his term expires on Jan. 31. She is currently the central bank's vice chair.