President Clinton's quest to fill two vacancies on the Federal Reserve Board continues.

His most recent candidate, New York investment banker Felix Rohatyn, asked the President late Monday to withdraw his name from consideration as the Fed's vice chairman. In his letter, he said opposition from Senate Republicans made confirmation unlikely. White House spokesman Mike McCurry told The Washington Post that the President asked Mr. Rohatyn to leave the letter unsigned. The President reportedly wants another chance to lobby senators on the investment banker's behalf.

A administration spokeswoman said Tuesday that Mr. Rohatyn had not yet formally submitted the letter.

The President has been trying since April to fill a slot at the Fed vacated by former Shawmut National Bank chairman John P. LaWare. He also has been looking to fill the vice chairman's position since Alan Blinder left Jan. 31.

The banking industry has pushed the White House to fill one of the two slots with a commercial banker.

Banking consultant Bert Ely said Senate Republicans were afraid that Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, whose imminent reappointment is widely expected, would not serve the full four years of a new term. That would open the chairman's seat for Mr. Rohatyn, considered by some to be dovish on inflation.

"I'm not too surprised," Mr. Ely said. "He was not going to be acceptable to Senate Republicans. There really was no question about that."

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