White House Pushes for Fed Reserve Chairman to Keep His Position

This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," January 25, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Meanwhile, this just in: Ben may just yet squeak in. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke meeting with Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin later this hour.

Now, the president and Democratic leaders are desperately working every angle they know other get Ben over the top in what had looked like a slam-dunk confirmation little more than weeks ago. Then came Scott Brown of Massachusetts and the rethinking on Ben in Washington and the global sell-off because of the rethinking on Ben in Washington.

With me now, the senator who has not been a fan of Ben before or since the fuss in Washington, Alabama Republican Jeff Sessions.

So, Senator, does Ben have the votes? Your view notwithstanding, do you think he has the votes to be reconfirmed?

SEN. JEFF SESSIONS, R-ALA.: Well, he's on the way to getting the votes, but he hasn't got there yet. And I think there's a lot of unease out within the Senate. And I certainly think he's lost votes in the last few — few weeks.

CAVUTO: All right, we're going to review the 17 committed no votes. And you're among those, Senator. You suspect that that will grow substantially. But do you think that the Massachusetts results have added more Democrats to that group? What's your hunch?

SESSIONS: I would think that probably has moved more Democrats than it has Republicans, but because I think it's a reflection that, even in the bluest of states, the voters are unhappy and concerned. And I think the voters don't want a gambler in there. They don't want to be playing games.

They know that we need to a Volcker-like, Reagan-like steady hand to restore sound money and get the debt under control. And if we do those things, that America's economic future will be sound. But if we allow this debt to continue to spiral in this unsustainable way, it puts a cloud over our very economic future, as Mr. Greenspan just said recently.

CAVUTO: All right.

Do you think, though, that, given the tumult we were having on the markets last week at just the thought, not exclusively, but in large part, Ben Bernanke might not be reappointed has given those who are opposed to him pause? In other words, they're going to say, yes, I will vote for the guy — I might hold my nose doing so, but I will vote for the guy because I don't want to see a global panic ensue?

What do you think?

SESSIONS: I think that probably will be one of the things that some people will say, that they feel like a change could be disruptive.

But, really, we need change. I mean, Mr. Bernanke was the architect of the aggressive low interest-rate policies that led to this boom and bust — this bust. And he did not foresee it. And now he's telling us, if we allow him to continue in this way and do the things he would like to do, unprecedented in our history, somehow, he — now he knows how to get us out of it.

CAVUTO: Right. Right.

SESSIONS: And I think that's dangerous.

CAVUTO: We were showing, Senator, him meeting with your colleague Dick Durbin in his offices just a few minutes ago.

But, obviously, they're trying to marshal the votes they can as soon as they can. But let's say he doesn't make it. Let's say, for some reason, this escalates. Views such as yours are echoed. And they will say, the markets notwithstanding, we don't like this guy. Then who? Paul Volcker is probably not in the running. So, who?

SESSIONS: Well, what we need in the president — this is important — the president and the Federal Reserve person is to move hand in hand to calm the American people, to tell them they know we're in for a number of years of very difficult problems because of excessive spending that created this bubble, and we are going to have to work our way through it, but, if we do it right and in a sound way, this country will come back and be healthy again.


SESSIONS: I really think that's not the message we're getting today. We're being told, don't worry. We're going to try to stimulate us — our way out of it through government policy. And I don't think that's sound.

CAVUTO: All right. Senator, always good having you. Thank you very much.

SESSIONS: Thank you.

CAVUTO: All right, Senator Jeff Sessions.

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