July 15, 2014


WASHINGTON – Today, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-SD) held a hearing on the Federal Reserve’s Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to Congress.

Below is Chairman Johnson’s statement as prepared for delivery:

“This morning we welcome Chair Yellen back to the Committee for testimony on the Federal Reserve’s Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress. Since Chair Yellen was last before the Committee, Stanley Fischer, Lael Brainard and Jerome Powell were confirmed by the Senate to serve on the Board. It is important that the Fed maintain a full complement of governors to effectively carry out its monetary policy and regulatory functions. To that end, there are two remaining spots to be filled on the Board, and I hope for the swift nomination of well-qualified candidates with expertise in community banking, as well as tough and effective oversight experience.

“The Fed continues to grapple with many pressing issues that span both monetary and regulatory policy, and I look forward to hearing Chair Yellen’s perspective on these issues today. The steady path to economic recovery following the Great Recession took a side-step with first quarter GDP falling. The unemployment rate has continued to drop in recent months, but long-term unemployment and youth unemployment remain unacceptably high. And the housing sector has been slow to rebound from its troubles during the crisis, with too many creditworthy borrowers locked out of the mortgage market.

“Given these headwinds against a more robust recovery and a low inflation rate, I am encouraged by the FOMC’s view that monetary policy will likely remain accommodative for a considerable time following the completion of the Fed’s asset purchase program.

“I am also encouraged by the continued progress being made to implement Wall Street Reform and improve U.S. financial stability. Chair Yellen, your recent comments outlining the importance of macroprudential tools that lean against financial excesses and focus on building resilience in the financial system rightly point to the need to ensure that firms – particularly the largest and most systemically important firms – are prepared for the worst and able to withstand shocks from a variety of sources.

“To that end, it is imperative that Wall Street Reform rules be completed as soon as possible. We must not forget how costly the last financial crisis has been, so regulators and Congress must continue to do all we can to keep our financial system stable and promote strong economic growth.”