U.S. Senate okays Bies, Olson to Fed board

US - The U.S. Senate on Thursday confirmed the nominations of bankers Susan Schmidt Bies and Mark Olson to the seven-member Federal Reserve Board, whose most visible job is setting U.S. interest rates.

Bies and Olson, both nominated by President George W. Bush, cleared the Senate on a voice vote.

Bush must formally sign off on their appointments, and it was not immediately clear whether Bies and Olson will attend the Fed's next policymaking meeting on Tuesday.

It is widely expected that the Fed