A Renewed Focus on the Fed's Role - BINYAMIN APPELBAUM and CATHERINE RAMPELL NYTimes.com

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Political divisions in Congress have all but immobilized the levers of fiscal policy, raising pressure on the Federal Reserve to address the nation's economic lethargy. 'Even as Congress escapes from its brush with default, political divisions have all but immobilized the levers of fiscal policy, raising pressure on the Federal Reserve to address the nation's economic lethargy. 'There is mounting evidence that the political turmoil has made a bad economic situation worse. ..The deal to raise the debt ceiling would reduce federal spending this year by billions of dollars, exacerbating a broader downturn in federal aid as the stimulus peters out. A payroll tax cut and extended benefits for the unemployed are scheduled to expire at the end of the year.'

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