Today, the House Budget Committee is holding a hearing on the options and challenges of an economic recovery package.
The Honorable Benjamin S. Bernanke
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Martin N. Baily, Ph.D.
Iris J. Lav
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
William W. Beach
Director Center for Data Analysis
The Heritage Foundation
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke endorsed consideration of a fiscal stimulus package, citing the chance of a “protracted slowdown” and a “weak” outlook for the U.S. economy into next year
Lawmakers “should consider including measures to help improve access to credit by consumers, homebuyers, businesses and other borrowers,” Bernanke said in testimony to the House Budget Committee. “Such actions might be particularly effective at promoting economic growth and job creation,” he said, calling consideration of a stimulus “appropriate.”
Bernanke’s remarks differ with the Bush administration’s position and may give momentum to legislation being proposed by House Democrats; in January Bernanke told the same panel a stimulus “could be helpful” and urged lawmakers to act “quickly.” The impact of that $168 billion measure faded by July, and economists anticipate the economy will contract in the current quarter.