Congress needs to do more to help economy -Powell

Powell, speaking to the press after the Fed decided to keep interest rates near zero, said the Fed has not run out of tools to sustain a U.S. economic recovery threatened by a spreading coronavirus pandemic and uncertainty over a still-undecided presidential election.

He stayed away from discussing the elections but urged Congress to shore up the economy with a stimulus package as the economic rebound already begins to stall.

Video Transcript

JEROME POWELL: The current economic downturn is the most severe in our lifetimes. It will take a while to get back to the levels of economic activity and employment that prevailed at the beginning of this year, and it may take continued support from both monetary and fiscal policy to achieve that.

I just would say that I think we'll have a stronger recovery if we can just get at least some more fiscal support when it's appropriate. You know, when it's appropriate in the size Congress thinks it's appropriate. I do think that that will likely-- and by the way, you see, you know, a lot of discussion on both sides of the aisle, on both sides of the Hill that suggests, generally, that there will be something.

This will take a whole of government approach, including health care policy and fiscal policy too. So it really is-- if you want to get the economy back as quickly as possible to where we want it to be, then really, it should be all of government working together.

Is monetary policy out of power or out of ammo? And the answer to that would be, no, I don't think that. I think that we are strongly committed to using these powerful tools that we have to support the economy during this difficult time for as long as needed and no one should have any doubt about that.