WASHINGTON -- The Senate was moving toward a vote late yesterday to confirm President Clinton's nomination of Alan Blinder to become vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.

A vote of approval was expected soon, Senate aides said. Blinder's nomination cleared the Senate Banking Committee on May 24, shortly before the Memorial Day recess.

Blinder, 48, is a member of the President's Council of Economic Advisers and taught economics at Princeton University before joining the administration.

During his confirmation hearing, Blinder went to great lengths to dispel the view of bond market critics that he is dovish on inflation. Among other things, he said he considers an unemployment rate of 6% to be "full" employment, meaning a rate at which wage pressures begin to build. The Labor Department reported last week that the jobless rate in May fell to 6%.

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