April 10, 2017 / 9:39 PM / 3 years ago

Yellen says Fed's independence under threat from Congress

FILE PHOTO: Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen speaks during a news conference after a two day Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting in Washington, U.S., March 15, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo

(Reuters) - The Federal Reserve’s ability to conduct monetary policy free of short-term political pressures is under “some threat” from two bills making their way through the U.S. Congress, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said on Monday.

Central bank independence is “very important and results in better decision-making that’s focused on the long-term needs and health of the economy,” Yellen said at an event at the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy in Ann Arbor. Of the legislation under consideration, the one that goes the furthest to curtail the Fed’s independence would require the central bank to follow a simple rule for setting interest rates and to justify any deviation from that rule, she said.

Reporting by Ann Saphir and Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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