The Senate voted 70-30 to confirm Bernanke in his post again as chairman of the US Federal Reserve, America’s central bank.
However, the Fed chief suffered the biggest show of dissent since voting on the position began more than 30 years ago.
Bernanke, who has been credited with steering the US economy through a wrenching financial crisis but who is also under fire for policies that set the stage for the turmoil, encountered the stiffest opposition the Senate has put up in the three decades it has voted on nominees to head the US central bank.
US Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner said the Senate had done the “right thing” by confirming Mr Bernanke.
“Chairman Bernanke will continue to play a vitally important role in guiding the nation’s economy,” he said in a statement.
But Democratic senator Sheldon Whitehouse said it was time the Fed used its “enormous powers” to help people.