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The Week Ahead: Analyzing the Fed’s Pandemic Response

This week, the House Financial Services Committee [1] will host a virtual hearing, “Oversight of the Treasury Department’s and Federal Reserve’s Pandemic Response [2],” scheduled for Tuesday, March 23 at noon EST.

In response to the pandemic, Congress enacted a series of laws, including the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act [3]), which was signed into law last March. Under the CARES Act, the Secretary of the Department of the Treasury and the Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System are required to testify quarterly regarding their obligations and transactions made under the Act.

Scheduled to provide testimony on Tuesday are Janet L. Yellen [4], Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and Jerome H. Powell, Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. This is the Committee’s fourth hearing fulfilling this statutory requirement.

The virtual hearing will discuss the many ways in which Congress, through emergency relief measures for small businesses and other acutely affected industries, assisted struggling Americans through this past year. Section 4027 of the CARES Act appropriated $500 billion to the Exchange Stabilization Fund (ESF) for use by the Treasury Secretary, and Section 4003 allocated up to $46 billion for Treasury to provide direct loans and loan guarantees to businesses critical to maintaining national security, and at least $454 billion for Treasury to support Fed emergency lending programs. The Treasury approved nearly $22 billion in loans to 35 recipients.

Click here [5] for an overview of the hearing or click here [2] to tune into the webcast.

Here's what else is happening in The Week Ahead: