Congress Grasps for Stimulus Deal as Fed Dispute Poses Last Hurdle

Regarding the March Stimulus Bill, Bernanke added, “The relief bill should at least ensure that the Federal Reserve’s emergency lending agencies, as they stood before the CARES bill was passed, remain fully intact and available for future response to crises. “

Mr Schumer said Jerome H. Powell, the current Fed chairman, whom he described as a “barely flaming liberal”, was “strongly against” Mr Toomey’s proposal. The Fed declined to comment on whether Mr. Powell, a Republican first appointed Governor of the Central Bank by former President Barack Obama, had discussed the matter with Mr. Schumer in the past few days.

On Saturday’s private call to House Democrats, Ms. Pelosi denounced the proposal, telling lawmakers that “it is just impossible for her to write there that this can never happen again,” according to one person on the call disclosed the comments on the condition of anonymity.

“That way you can tell Joe Biden, ‘We’ll tie your hands. No matter what comes up, you can’t do that, ”Ms. Pelosi told the Democrats.

Mr Toomey defended the provision on the grounds that the Democrats had advocated very generous terms, especially for the municipal program, to give state and local governments access to cheap finance. Republicans have long objected to providing direct flow of aid to state and local governments, and Democrats are trying other avenues to provide aid.

“Some of my colleagues want to turn these facilities into uses that were never intended for them,” Toomey said. “Taxation and social policy is the rightful realm of people accountable to the American people, and that’s us – that’s Congress.”

Mr Toomey denied trying to obstruct the Biden administration, noting that he had been trying for months to make sure the Fed’s pandemic programs go down. But the language he suggested to include in the stimulus plan was more expansive.

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