Curt Long, Chief Economist with the National Association of Federal Credit Unions, stated..."it seems far more likely than not that the committee will revise down its expectation of four rate hikes in 2016 in their March release.”
When Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling took the floor for his opening statement at Wednesday’s hearing, he was a little more blunt in his assessment of the recent "economic headwinds".
“The reality is since the president was elected and the Fed embarked upon its unprecedented quantitative easing and zero real interest rate policies, working families’ paychecks have declined, their net wealth has declined and the real unemployment rate continues to hover around 10 percent,” Hensarling said. “Approximately one in six is on food stamps and almost 15 percent live in poverty. There hasn’t been a single year when economic growth has reached 3 percent.”
Hensarling continued, “Now I will not use this hearing to either praise or condemn the Fed’s decision to raise rates by 25 basis points interest rates in December. Nor do I think it appropriate to advise the FOMC on how to vote during its next meeting. But given that Article One, Section Eight of the Constitution gives Congress the power to coin money and regulate the value thereof, I do feel compelled to demand that the Fed adopt a monetary policy course that is predictable, transparent and sustainable and—barring terribly exigent circumstances—to stick with it. That is part of the rationale underlying the House-passed Fed Oversight Reform and Modernization Act—the FORM Act.”