Yellen currently serves as the vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.
The Journal reported it could not confirm the full list of senators who signed on, but the list appears to represent the more liberal wing of the Democratic caucus -- a third of the 54 seats they currently hold in the upper chamber.
"There's a lot of concern among a lot of Democrats about an appointment of Larry Summers to that long-term position as Fed chairman," Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), who signed the letter, told the Journal. "He was one of the architects of getting rid of Glass-Steagall, of getting rid of other regulations. There's real concern about his economic views not really being in line with Obama's views."
Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Angus King (I-ME) are also confirmed to have signed the letter. TPM.com has more here.
Justice Department Challenges State's Voting Laws - The Justice Department is preparing to take fresh legal action in a string of voting rights cases across the nation, U.S. officials said, part of a new attempt to blunt the effect of a Supreme Court ruling that the Obama administration has warned will imperil minority representation.
The decision to challenge state officials marks an aggressive effort to continue policing voting issues and is likely to spark a new round of politically contentious litigation that could return consideration of the 1965 Voting Rights Act to the high court.
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.’s decision Thursday to intervene in a Texas redistricting case follows a ruling by the court last month that invalidated a critical section of the historic legislation. The justices threw out the part of the Voting Rights Act that determined which states with a history of discrimination had to be granted Justice Department or court approval before changing their voting laws. The Washington Post has more here.
Halliburton to Plead Guilty in BP Gulf Oil Spill - Oilfield services giant Halliburton has agreed to plead guilty to destroying evidence in connection with the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, the Justice Department (DOJ) announced Thursday evening.
Halliburton was the cement contractor on BP’s ill-fated Macondo well that blew out in April of 2010.
The blowout and explosion of Transocean’s Deepwater Horizon rig killed 11 workers and ultimately dumped several million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
Halliburton has agreed to pay the “maximum-available statutory fine,” will be subject to three years of probation and continue cooperating with the federal government’s ongoing criminal probe, DOJ said in a summary of the case. TheHill.com has more here.
Ousted Egyptian President Mursi Accused of Kidnapping, Killing Soldiers - The Egyptian army is detaining ousted President Mohamed Mursi over accusations of kidnapping, killing soldiers and other charges, the state news agency said on Friday.
The army had previously said it was holding Mursi for his own safety and the report was likely to stoke tension before mass rallies on Friday billed as shows of strength between supporters and opponents of the Islamist Mursi, Egypt's first freely elected leader.
Both sides warned of the potential for bloodshed in Egypt, which has been convulsed by political and economic turmoil since the 2011 uprising that ended 30 years of autocratic rule by the U.S.-backed Hosni Mubarak.
State news agency Mena said the mooted charges against Mursi included conspiring with the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, killing prisoners and officers "deliberately with prior intent", kidnapping officers and soldiers, and setting fire to the prison of Wadi el-Natroun.
They relate to his escape from the prison in 2011, when he was arrested during the uprising against Mubarak, and provide legal grounds for his continued detention. Reuters.com has more here.
Obama at Camp David Today -President Barack Obama will host Cabinet members and their families on Friday for a rare retreat at Camp David, a White House official said.
Obama uses the facility far less often than many of his predecessors have, only occasionally holding meetings there or heading there for a weekend of rest and relaxation.
The president has hosted Cabinet members and their families there just once before, weeks before Democrats' big losses in the 2010 midterm elections.
First lady Michelle Obama is expected to join him, though the White House didn't say whether first daughters Malia and Sasha will join Cabinet members' kids there. Politico.com has more here.
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