January 7, 2014

House Committee Promises ‘Vigorous’ Oversight of Yellen’s Fed

House Financial Services to hold ‘aggressive’ hearings on reform of the central bank

House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling. (Photo: AP) House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling. (Photo: AP)

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While House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, was among the lawmakers who were quick to congratulate Janet Yellen for being confirmed by the Senate Monday as the new chairwoman of the Federal Reserve, he also warned Yellen that 2014 would be the year his committee “embarks upon its most vigorous and sustained oversight of the Federal Reserve ever.”

In a statement after Yellen’s nomination, Hensarling noted that in December, the House Financial Services Committee announced its “Federal Reserve Centennial Oversight Project,” which will include an “aggressive series of hearings during 2014 that will culminate with the development of legislation to reform how the nation’s central bank operates.”

Hensarling said that “the economy’s subpar performance since the Federal Reserve embarked upon its stimulus more than five years ago” should encourage Yellen to lead the Fed “to adopt a more transparent and rules-based monetary policy that aims for price stability and long-term growth,” which he said Yellen “has spoken favorably about” in the past.

The Federal Open Market Committee announced Dec. 18 that it would start reining in quantitative easing by instituting a “modest” $10 billion reduction in its monthly bond-buying program to $75 billion per month.

Former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said during a press briefing after the FOMC announcement that further tapering would “be data dependent,” adding that he anticipated that the Fed would “probably do a measured reduction” at each meeting in 2014.

The minutes from the December meeting will be released Wednesday.

The FOMC’s first meeting of 2014 will be held Jan. 28 and 29, but a summary of economic projections and a press conference by Yellen won’t come until the meeting on March 19.

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