2014-07-16T193835Z_2_LYNXMPEA6F0XO_RTROPTP_2_USA-FED

Yellen defends Fed independence, faces House Republican criticism

U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testifies before the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee on Capitol Hill in WashingtonBy Michael Flaherty and Howard Schneider WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen defended the central bank’s independence on Wednesday at a U.S. congressional hearing, handling tough questions from Republican lawmakers who want to rein in the Fed’s authority. Yellen’s prepared remarks on the economy and Fed policy were identical to those from her appearance on Tuesday before the Senate Banking Committee, where she stood by her view that an accommodative monetary policy is still needed even though the economy is recovering. On Wednesday, Yellen told the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee that she saw sufficient growth to support gains in the labor market and that credit growth and leverage were at moderate levels. She also addressed concerns raised about the Fed’s oversight of financial institutions and its use of re-purchase agreements.

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