May 18, 2020 / 8:16 PM / in 11 days

Fed's Powell: CARES Act 'critical' to support for economy

FILE PHOTO: Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell testifies during a House Financial Services Committee hearing on "Monetary Policy and the State of the Economy" in Washington, U.S. July 10, 2019. REUTERS/Erin Scott/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Passage of the CARES Act in late March was “critical” to the Federal Reserve’s ability to expand credit throughout the economy to help offset the economic blow from the coronavirus pandemic, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said in remarks prepared for delivery at a Tuesday hearing held by the Senate Banking committee.

Powell in the remarks repeats his pledge to keep interest rates near zero until the economy has weathered the crisis, and reviews Fed actions to date that he says have helped keep financial markets functioning smoothly.

Reporting by Howard Schneider; Editing by Chris Reese

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