Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and Fed’s Powell testify before Congress

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Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are testifying Tuesday before the House Financial Services Committee. Each will discuss his agency’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and answer questions from the committee’s lawmakers.

Since March, the Fed and Treasury have introduced a litany of programs aimed at lending money to businesses struggling for liquidity as Americans stay at home. Their efforts include the Main Street Lending Program aimed at companies with fewer than 15,000 employees, the Paycheck Protection Program and direct stimulus checks to U.S. workers.

In prepared remarks he will deliver in person to the committee, Powell doubled down on the Fed’s pledge to aid the economy through the pandemic and summarized what the central bank has done so far. 

“We remain committed to using our tools to do what we can, for as long as it takes, to ensure that the recovery will be as strong as possible, and to limit lasting damage to the economy,” Powell said in his prepared testimony.

“Economic activity has picked up from its depressed second-quarter level, when much of the economy was shut down to stem the spread of the virus. Many economic indicators show marked improvement,” he added. “Both employment and overall economic activity, however, remain well below their pre-pandemic levels, and the path ahead continues to be highly uncertain.”

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