Chairman of Federal Reserve Board Janet Yellen (L) speaks as Federal Reserve Governor Daniel Tarullo (R) listens during a meeting on February 18, 2014 in Washington, DC. If the Senate refuses to act on new nominations to the Board of Governors before the end of May, the Federal Reserve will be down to only three members. - 

The Fed’s Board of Governors is shrinking. There are supposed to be seven governors, but right now, there are just four, with three nominees awaiting Senate confirmation. And another vacancy is looming in May.

“We’ve never had a situation like we’re in now,” says Peter Conti-Brown, a fellow at Stanford law school who’s writing a history of the Fed. He says it’s rare to have so many vacancies on the board of governors.