WASHINGTON - The Senate voted 59-34 Friday to end debate on the nomination of Janet Yellen to head the Federal Reserve.

Lawmakers are scheduled to proceed with a final confirmation vote, which Yellen is expected to clear, when they return from the holiday recess on Jan. 6. Yellen, the vice chairman of the Fed, would succeed Ben Bernanke as chairman when he steps down Jan. 31.

Analysts had long predicted that Yellen would be able to win Senate approval, a move made even more certain after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid led a historic filibuster rule change last month for judicial and executive nominees.

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