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Congress wants stimulus deal as Fed dispute poses final hurdle

Referring to the March stimulus bill, Bernanke added: “The relief bill should at least ensure that the Federal Reserve’s emergency lending authorities, as they stood before the adoption of the CARES law, remain fully intact and available to respond in the future. crises. “

Mr Schumer said Jerome H. Powell, the current Fed chairman, whom he called “hardly a fiery liberal”, was “strongly opposed” to Mr Toomey’s proposal. The Fed declined to comment on whether Mr. Powell, a Republican appointed by former President Barack Obama, had discussed the issue with Mr. Schumer in recent days.

During the private call with House Democrats on Saturday, Ms Pelosi denounced the proposal, telling lawmakers that “for them to write in there that it can never happen again is just beyond pallor “, according to a person on the call, who revealed the comments on the condition of anonymity.

“It’s a way for them to say to Joe Biden, ‘We are binding your hands. No matter what happens on the pike, you can’t do that, ”Pelosi told Democrats.

Mr Toomey defended the provision, arguing that Democrats had pushed for very generous terms on the municipal program in particular, in an effort to help state and local governments access cheap funding. Republicans have long opposed providing a direct stream of aid to state and local governments, and Democrats have sought to provide relief in other ways.

“Some of my colleagues want to turn these facilities into a use that was never intended for them,” Toomey said. “Tax and social policy is the rightful domain of the people who are accountable to the American people, and it’s us – it’s Congress.”

Mr Toomey denied he was seeking to hamper the Biden administration and pointed out that he had sought for months to stop the Fed’s pandemic programs. But the language he proposed to attach to the stimulus package was broader than that.

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