US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Friday met with a group of conservative activists who are unhappy with the way the Fed is conducting its interest-rate policies.
The meeting, which was set up early this month, came two days after Yellen came under heavy criticism from Republican lawmakers during a US House of Representatives hearing.
They said Yellen had politicized decisionmaking at the central bank by favoring policies pushed by US President Barack Obama and other Democrats.
Yellen rejected the criticism as unfounded.
Yellen listened carefully to the group’s proposals and asked thoughtful questions, but did not indicate whether she supported its recommendations, said Steve Lonegan, director of monetary policy at the conservative American Principles in Action.
Representatives of the Heritage Foundation and Cato Institute also participated in the meeting.
The group, which included 21 activists assembled by the conservative organizations, met with Yellen and Fed board member Lael Brainard. Yellen, Brainard and other Fed officials had met in November last year with a group of liberal activists. That meeting prompted the conservatives to request their own meeting.
Yellen listened to economists for the conservative organizations lay out a series of recommendations for how the Fed should conduct interest rate policies, including proposals to have the central bank adopt a specific rule to guide interest-rate policy, Lonegan said.
That proposal and a measure that would expand congressional oversight of the Fed through audits of its monetary decisions are being supported by Republicans in both the House and Senate.
Yellen has voiced strong opposition to both proposals, saying the audit bill would subject the Fed to undue political influence and that using a single rule to set interest rates would be unworkable.
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