The Senate cleared the way on Friday for the confirmation of Janet Yellen as the next chairwoman of the Federal Reserve early next year.
In a 59 to 34 vote, senators voted to end debate on the nomination of Yellen, President Barack Obama's pick to succeed Ben Bernanke as the head of the Federal Reserve's board of governors. If confirmed, Yellen would be the first woman to ever hold that position.
Just five Republican senators supported moving forward with Yellen's nomination; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who was hospitalized Friday morning for precautionary reasons, missed the vote.
Friday's Senate vote was the last before lawmakers left town for their holiday recess. Democrats had sought a final confirmation vote for Yellen before the break, but they struck an agreement with Republicans on late Thursday to instead schedule the confirmation vote for Jan. 6.