The Senate voted 70-30 on Thursday to reappoint Bernanke amid criticism of his judgment ahead of the financial crisis and his support for massive Wall Street bailouts. His supporters credited him for engineering a financial industry rescue in time to prevent a catastrophic collapse.
The vote was the closest ever for a nominee for Fed chairman. It came amid roiling public anger over the economy and stubbornly high unemployment that fueled a populist backlash against Bernanke. No Fed chairman has been rejected in the Senate.
Bernanke's current term expires Sunday.