Washington, D.C.—Today, Senator Martin Heinrich, (D-NM), Chairman of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC), issued the following statement in response to the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee’s decision to raise interest rates. Earlier this week, Senator Heinrich sent a letter to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell urging caution around additional monetary tightening in light of current economic developments.
“As expected, the Federal Reserve has raised interest rates in an attempt to further slow inflation. Ahead of this announcement, I sent a letter earlier this week to Chairman Powell, urging the Federal Reserve to proceed with caution as they consider additional rate hikes going forward.
“While still too high, inflation has fallen significantly in recent months as the economy gets back to normal after several years of massive supply shocks. Overall employment is still strong and consumer confidence is rising once more.
“However, we’re reaching the end of key policy supports for working families, and we’re facing an ongoing housing affordability crisis, combined with the long term effects of recent fiscal crises. These factors warrant attention when it comes to making decisions around additional policy tightening.
“We also don’t yet know what the cumulative effects will be on the economy from the Federal Reserve’s earlier unprecedented string of rate hikes. There are signs that American workers are starting to feel those effects as Black unemployment is rising and more people are working part time for economic reasons, despite their desire to work full time.
“I am increasingly concerned by these developments, and as Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee I will continue to monitor our economic situation and work with my colleagues in Congress and the Biden Administration toward smart economic policy that works for American families, workers, and small businesses.”
About Chairman Martin Heinrich
U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich has served the people of New Mexico in the United States Senate since 2012. In addition to his role as Chairman of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, Heinrich also serves as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, and Food and Drug Administration on the Senate Appropriations Committee, and as a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Prior to his election to the U.S. Senate, Heinrich served two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, four years as an Albuquerque City Councilor, as New Mexico’s Natural Resources Trustee, and in AmeriCorps with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
About the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee
The U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee is Congress’s bicameral economic think tank. It was created when Congress passed the Employment Act of 1946. Under this Act, Congress established two advisory panels: the President's Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) and the JEC. Their primary tasks are to review economic conditions and to recommend improvements in economic policy. Chairmanship of the JEC alternates between the Senate and House every Congress.