U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, ranking Republican on the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, today made the following statement at a Committee hearing on the Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress.
Excerpts of Shelby's statement are immediately below in bold, followed by the full text of his prepared remarks:
"The rise in inflation reveals that the Fed's most challenging task still likes ahead.
"The failure to adopt a pro-growth economic plan or to restrain federal spending has effectively boxed the Fed into a corner.
"The last thing our weak economy needs right now is an inflation scare.
"Our markets are watching to see if Chairman Bernanke has not only a credible plan, but also the will to take the difficult actions necessary to prevent inflation. Today's hearing gives Chairman Bernanke an opportunity to reassure our markets by explaining to the American people how the Fed intends to navigate through this difficult period.
"More transparency also is needed with regard to how the Fed plans to unwind its record balance sheet I hope that Chairman Bernanke can shed more light on the options that the Fed is considering and when the Fed will begin this difficult task.
"The Fed still has far to go in opening up, but I hope that Chairman Bernanke will continue his efforts to modernize the Fed's transparency. The American people deserve nothing less."