(Adds Rand Paul to vote against Goodfriend's nomination)
WASHINGTON, Feb 8 (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate Banking Committee on Thursday narrowly voted to approve Marvin Goodfriend to become a Federal Reserve governor, setting up a contentious vote in the full Senate where at least one Republican said he would not support his nomination.
The Republican-controlled committee advanced Goodfriend's nomination 13-12 along party lines. This sets up a confirmation vote of his nomination in the full Senate, where Republicans have a 51-49 majority.
Republican Senator Rand Paul plans to vote against Goodfriend's nomination in the Senate, his spokesman Sergio Gor said on Thursday. That means Goodfriend can ill afford any further loss of support from Republicans should Senate Democrats all vote against.
Goodfriend, a Carnegie Mellon economics professor, was nominated by President Donald Trump in November to join the U.S. central bank.
His rocky path contrasts with the nomination of Jerome Powell, who became the new Fed chief this week. The committee advanced his nomination 22-1 and the full chamber easily approved him.
During his confirmation hearing last month, Goodfriend defended his past focus on inflation but said under sharp scrutiny from Democrats that his earlier warning about runaway prices had been proven wrong.
Speaking before the Democrats unanimously voted against the nomination, Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown said Goodfriend's record on inflation was among the reasons for not backing him.
"Stakes are too high for workers, for the economy - we cant take a chance on someone with a decade-long record of prioritizing hypothetical inflation over real people," he said.
If approved by the full Senate, Goodfriend would join the Fed board at a time of change in leadership and a staff shortage. New Fed Chair Jerome Powell took up his post on Monday while four of the seven board seats, including the No. 2 position, are currently unfilled.
Policymakers have forecast three U.S. interest rate hikes this year as the Fed continues to steer the economy away from the "easy money" era. Investors widely expect the central bank to lift U.S. borrowing costs at the next policy meeting in March. (Reporting by Lindsay Dunsmuir; editing by David Gregorio and Chizu Nomiyama)