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Obama Praises Janet Yellen Confirmation, Says She Will Be 'Fierce Champion' For Americans

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is hailing the confirmation of Janet Yellen as chair of the Federal Reserve. He says she will be a "fierce champion" for the American people.

The Senate on Monday voted 56-26 to confirm her, with several senators absent due to flight delays. Yellen will be the first woman to lead the nation's central bank.

Obama says Yellen is committed to the Fed's dual mission of keeping inflation low and reducing unemployment. Obama initially wanted former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers for the job.

He says Yellen will — quote — "stand up for American workers, protect consumers, foster the stability of our financial system, and help keep our economy growing for years to come."

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