Bernanke Backs New Stimulus

But Fed chief says new measure must include access to credit
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2008 10:24 AM CDT
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks at the Economic Club of New York, Oct. 15, 2008.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
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(Newser) – Ben Bernanke gave his blessing to a new economic stimulus package today, the New York Times reports, saying the slowdown warrants another boost but hedging his approval with conditions that would discourage the sort of package Democrats are pushing. “If the Congress proceeds with a fiscal package, it should consider including measures to help improve access to credit by consumers, homebuyers, businesses and other borrowers,” the Fed chief told a House committee.

Bernanke predicted such measures “might be particularly effective at promoting economic growth and job creation.” He warned the program should “limit longer-term effects on the federal government’s structural budget deficit.” Democrats are floating a $300 billion package of spending on infrastructure projects, extending unemployment benefits and increases in food stamps and other aid for poor Americans.