Rep. Kucinich to hold hearing on Fed effort to boost economy

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) will hold a Nov. 30 hearing exploring the economic justification and likely effects of the Federal Reserve's second quantitative easing effort.

The hearing will explore the Fed's decision to buy $600 billion in long-term Treasury bonds to boost the economy and lower unemployment by sparking lending. The policy is known as quantitative easing or "QE2" because it represents the second time since the financial crisis that the Fed has tried to lift the economy by purchasing Treasury bonds. 

Kucinich, a maverick liberal who has been a longtime critic of the Fed, is holding the hearing "in light of massive unemployment and the seeming inability of government to invest in infrastructure or to intervene to stop the loss of jobs," according to an announcement released by his office. 

It said Kucinich would look at ways to boost the U.S. economy through "changes in the role of the Fed." Kucinich is chairman of the Domestic Policy Subcommittee of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. 

The hearing will also delve into the transparency of the Fed's operations, its accountability, and its dual mandate to maximize employment and minimize inflation.

The decision to delve into the Fed's decision comes after the central bank has faced a torrent of Republican criticism about the action, with charges it would devalue the dollar and lead to inflation.

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) announced last week their plans to introduce legislation that would rein in the Fed's mandate and have it focus exclusively on minimizing inflation.

Kucinich has invited officials from the Congressional Research Service, the Center for Economic Policy and Research, the American Enterprise Institute, Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, and the American Monetary Institute to testify, according to a Republican on the committee.

Wartburg College's website states that Dr. Scott Fullwiler, associate professor of economics at the university and the James A. Leach Chair in Banking and Monetary Economics, had been invited to testify.

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