Powell urges Congressional panel to tackle budget deficits

1010 WINS Newsroom
November 14, 2019 - 10:27 am

Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell testifies on the economic outlook, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is asking Congress to tackle the growing budget deficit.

Powell’s remarks before the House Budget Committee Thursday came a day after he told Congress’ Joint Economic Committee that the Fed was likely to keep rates unchanged in the coming months, unless there was a “material” shift in the economy’s outlook.

Powell is one of the few leading public figures urging Congress to reduce the federal government’s annual deficit, which is nearing $1 trillion.

A large deficit will make it harder for Congress to cut taxes or boost spending when the next recession hits, Powell said. That is a concern because with the Fed’s benchmark interest rate already low, the Fed also has a limited ability to respond to downturns.

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