CHARLESTON, W.Va.--Bucking a bipartisan majority, Sen. Joe Manchin was the lone Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee to cast a "no" vote Thursday against advancing Janet Yellen's nomination to lead the Federal Reserve.
The Senate Banking Committee approved the nomination of Yellen, currently vice-chairman at the central bank, by a 14-8 vote.
Republican Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Mark Kirk of Illinois joined 11 Democrats to support her nomination.
Manchin, West Virginia's junior senator, joined seven Republicans, including Mike Crapo of Idaho, Patrick Toomey of Pennsylvania and Richard Shelby of Alabama, in opposing the nomination.
Manchin met privately with Yellen earlier this month, prior to confirmation hearings with the committee.
In a statement following the meeting, he did not indicate how he would vote on her nomination, saying only that the two had a "very productive and honest" meeting and discussed how best to grow the economy and the lessons learned from the last time the country had a balanced budget.
They also discussed the Fed's current aggressive policy of buying mortgage-backed securities and U.S. Treasury bonds, known as quantitative easing, and the need to tighten it as the economy improves.
It is widely believed Yellen will continue the Fed's aggressive easy money policies, should she succeed Ben Bernanke as Federal Reserve chairman.
In the end, Manchin said it was Yellen's views on quantitative easing that led him to vote no on her nomination.
"I believe that Dr. Yellen is a very intelligent and capable nominee," Manchin said in a statement following the vote, "but her views and beliefs to continue quantitative easing, despite a failure to see any real gains, greatly troubles me."
The Federal Reserve has maintained an easy money policy since 2008, when the central bank began slashing its key short-term interest rates to near-zero in an effort to prevent the Great Recession from becoming a second Great Depression.
When short-term rates could go no lower, the Fed turned to the quantitative easing bond program to bring down long-term rates in an effort to stimulate the economy and lower the unemployment rate.
The Fed is currently in its third round of quantitative easing. While the first two rounds -- dubbed QE1 and QE2 -- involved a fixed amount of asset purchases, the current round, sometimes called "QE Infinity," involves an open-ended commitment to purchase $85 billion in assets each month.
The Fed has purchased more than $3 trillion in assets through quantitative easing since 2008, more than $1 trillion over the last year. Manchin said the program has not produced the expected results.