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Bernanke Questioned on Economy, Interest Rates Stay at Current Levels Until 2014

Washington, DC
Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke presented his semi-annual monetary policy testimony to the House Financial Services Committee.
In opening statements, he said that the Fed will hold interest rates at current levels until 2014.

Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL) opened the hearing by steering the conversation to U.S. interest rates and entitlement reform.  Rep. Bachus also praised Bernanke’s tenure as Fed Chairman and pointing to continuing job growth.

Co-chairman Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) criticized Republicans on deficit reduction without tax increases. Rep. Frank also said that he "welcome(s) the debate on dual mandates for Federal Reserve."

Lawmakers also questioned the witness about the Fed's plans on avoiding inflation and the current unemployment rate.  Other questions focused on fiscal policy, the status of the nation's economic recovery, the impact of rising gas prices, and the debt crisis in Europe.

Tomorrow, the Fed Chairman goes before the Senate Banking Committee.

As head of the Federal Reserve during the 2008 recession, Bernanke has steered the economy through the largest financial crisis since the Great Depression, while trying to regulate interest rates and inflation.

Updated: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 5:58pm (ET)

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