updated 7/28/2010 3:07:16 PM ET 2010-07-28T19:07:16

A Senate panel has approved three of President Barack Obama's picks for the Federal Reserve, including his nominee to be the central bank's second-highest ranking official.

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Janet Yellen has won the Senate Banking Committee's approval to be the Fed's vice chairwoman. The panel also approved Sarah Raskin and Peter Diamond to be on the Fed board.

All three nominations now go to the full Senate for a vote.

If they are confirmed, Obama will have appointed five of the seven members of the Federal Reserve Board in Washington.

The committee approval of the Fed nominees comes as the central bank is trying to steer the fragile economy into a lasting recovery. The Fed will also play a leading role in implementing a new financial overhaul law.

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