WASHINGTON — With just three days remaining in his term, the Senate voted 70 to 30 on Thursday to give Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke another four years at the helm of the central bank.

The vote capped a battle that began in August when President Obama decided that Bernanke's aggressive and unconventional response to the financial crisis earned him a second term. But the decision provoked a firestorm on Capitol Hill in recent weeks as critics from both parties argued Bernanke was a lax regulator, ignored consumer protection and kept interest rates too low.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.