Fed sticks with new easing stimulus plan

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In September, the Fed announced it was undertaking a third round of "quantitative easing" buying up $40 billion worth of bonds per month. The purchases are meant to further lower borrowing rates and spur economic activity. Unlike its first two attempts at easing, the Fed did not set a cap on the size of the purchases, instead leaving it open-ended, saying it would continue the purchases until the economy was stronger.

The Fed also announced at that meeting that it expected to keep rates near zero through mid-2015, up from its prior estimate of the end of 2014.

In its new statement, the Fed did note that inflation had "somewhat" increased as energy prices climbed.

When the Fed announced its new policy, Republicans were critical of the move. Long wary of the dangers of inflation when it comes time to unwind the purchases, GOP lawmakers have discouraged the Fed from pursuing more efforts to stimulate the economy.

In a statement Wednesday, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), the ranking Republican on the Joint Economic Committee who authored a sweeping bill to overhaul the Fed, continued that critique.

"The Federal Reserve is exposing taxpayers to enormous future risks stemming from its extraordinary monetary policy actions," he said. "Trillions of dollars of monetary morphine will not fix this economy. Congress and the President need to get our fiscal house in order and end the uncertainty over future policy that is holding our economy back."