Fed Chair Powell Scheduled for July 9 Senate Banking Testimony

REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo
U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell speaks at the 2024 Business, Government & Society Forum at the Stanford Graduate School of Business in Stanford, California, U.S., April 3, 2024.

June 17 (Reuters) – U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is scheduled to give his semiannual testimony on monetary policy on July 9 at the Senate Banking Committee, the office of Senator Sherrod Brown, the committee’s chair, said on Monday.

If scheduling proceeds as it has historically, Powell would deliver the same testimony at the House Financial Services committee the following day. Spokespeople for that committee did not immediately respond to a request for information.

Both hearings are typically hours-long affairs, with lawmakers from both sides of the aisle grilling Powell on a range of topics from interest-rate policy to the state of the banking system.

Powell was first appointed as Fed Chair by former president Donald Trump and reappointed for a second term by President Joe Biden. At all turns he seeks to assert the central bank’s independence from politics, with any interest-rate decisions driven entirely by the state of the economy.

The Fed last week kept the policy rate in the 5.25%-5.5% range, and signaled it may cut borrowing costs only once this year.

If that forecast – which assumes slow downward progress on inflation and no big cracks in the labor market – pans out, the Fed could be expected to remain on the sidelines until after the November presidential election.

Brown and other Democrats have called on the Fed to cut rates to make homes more affordable. A rate cut before the election could help Biden, a Democrat, in his rematch against Trump, a Republican who has said that he thinks the Fed may lower interest rates to help sway the election.