Sunday, March 16, 2014

Conyers & Wilson Lead Congressional Letter to New Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen Urging Focus on Full Employment

(WASHINGTON) – Today, in response to the ongoing jobs crisis in America, Representatives John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.), Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.), and 19 of their Congressional colleagues sent a letter to new Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen urging her to focus on the Federal Reserve’s mandate to promote maximum employment. The Federal Reserve’s jobs mandate has a long history, with origins in the Employment Act of 1946, and further affirmations in both the Federal Reserve Reform Act of 1977 and the Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment and Balanced Growth Act of 1978.  For much of the last century, our political leaders were in agreement: government has a responsibility to strive toward the attainment of full employment. Today, monetary policy remains an essential vehicle for reducing unemployment. The letter encourages Chairwoman Yellen to explore options beyond the current quantitative easing programs to boost the economy as directly as possible. After the letter was sent to Chairwoman Janet Yellen, the leaders of the letter, Representatives Conyers and Wilson issued the following statement:

U.S. Representative
John Conyers, Jr.
Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.):  “While Wall Street is booming, tens of millions of Americans continue to suffer unemployment or underemployment.   Our entire government - including Congress and the Federal Reserve - must work towards a comprehensive agenda to pursue full employment. Chairwoman Yellen has a powerful arsenal of policy tools to combat unemployment and a long history of standing up for working Americans. We know that her policy priorities align with those of the Congressional Full Employment Caucus, and that she will guide Federal Reserve’s policymaking with the plight of the unemployed in mind. In our letter, we encourage the Federal Reserve to search for options beyond quantitative easing to boost the economy directly and efficiently.”

Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.): “I came to Congress to fight for jobs. With the Republican House leadership inexcusably unwilling to act on any meaningful jobs legislation, we must make use of all the economic tools at the government’s disposal. That’s why we’re calling on the Federal Reserve to commit to strong job-creation policies. We have faith in Dr. Yellen, who is not only a historic figure as the first female Fed Chair, but also a champion for low-income Americans.”

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