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) --

Federal Reserve

Chairman Ben Bernanke appears to have edged closer to a second term.

Mitch McConnell, the top Republican in the Senate, told


"Meet the Press," on Sunday he expects Bernanke to be confirmed, without disclosing how he would vote.

A spokesman for Harry Reid, Senate majority leader, said the senator hopes for a vote to confirm Bernanke this week. Bernanke's term ends Jan. 31.

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Bernanke's confirmation for a second, four-year term was thrown into doubt late last week as some key Democrats said he wouldn't be getting their vote. The uncertainty over Bernanke helped lead to a slide of 552 points last week in the

Dow Jones industrial Average



says at least 29 senators have said they will back Bernanke or are leaning toward supporting him and at least 17 senators have either already voted against him in committee, come out against Bernanke or said they are leaning against him.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel in New York.

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