Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Tuesday called on Congress to continue an aggressive policy to stimulate the economy.
Powell argued that stimulus measures passed by Congress this year, including stimulus payments and the expansion of unemployment benefits, have helped with job creation, consumption of goods, and business formation.
He suggested that now, legislators should come to an agreement on a new package. Otherwise, it could “lead to a weak recovery, creating unnecessary hardship for households and businesses,” he said, adding that the U.S. economic recovery has been quicker than anticipated.
His comments come in the midst of an impasse between congressional Democrats led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the White House. Pelosi has said that Republicans should accept the latest $2.2 trillion iteration of the HEROES Act, which was passed in the House by Democrats in a party-line vote last month. Republicans have rejected the measure, while Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin proposed an approximately $1.6 trillion counter-proposal.
Pelosi and Mnuchin spoke about a stimulus deal on Monday, according to her spokesman. They didn't come to an agreement.
The window for a new stimulus bill is quickly closing before the November election, as lawmakers have less than a month to go before Nov. 3.