March 18, 2020 / 9:16 AM / 12 days ago

U.S.' Pelosi urges Fed's Powell to help local governments hit by coronavirus

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks to the media about a coronavirus economic aid package on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 13, 2020. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell to use the Fed’s authority to help state and local governments most affected by coronavirus, a senior Democratic aide said.

In a telephone call lasting 25 minutes, Powell briefed the speaker on the Fed’s actions to respond to the virus. “The Speaker was encouraged by the Chairman’s perspective that with interest rates at nearly zero Congress is enabled to fiscally think big as we craft a robust response,” the senior Democratic aide said.

Reporting by Susan Cornwell; Editing by Sandra Maler

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