WASHINGTON, D.C. – Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testified before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday where he attempted to downplay concerns of bubbling inflation triggered by the Federal Reserve’s continuing loose monetary policy. However, his words were difficult for committee members to hear over the cacophonous rattling of money printers echoing through the chamber.
“All indicators are still showing soft inflationary signals,” said Chairman Powell after lighting a strap of $100 bills to see through the smoke being output by the printers. “The Federal Reserve will continue to use its tools to support job growth until CPI stabilizes on our 2% target.”
Following his prepared statement, members of the committee did not engage Powell in any notable discussion, likely due to the machinery noise that made all but a scream inaudible. Printers have been installed in various congressional chambers since at least 2014, when the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing ran out of printer space in their 2.2 million square foot facility, but this hearing was the first to occur following the recent installation of printers in the House Financial Services Committee chambers. In addition to the auditory distraction, lights started to flicker and dim as additional arrays of printers were put online in adjacent congressional spaces. All of these factors lead to an unusually short hearing for the Chairman.
House committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) leaned forward and squinted through the entire hearing and at one point asked aides “can we turn off that awful racket for just a second?” Aides attempted to unplug one of the printers but were met with a striking blow from FED security guards.
“I am sorry Mrs. Waters, but I’m afraid we have to keep every last one of these running at full bore,” responded Powell.
Following the close of the hearing, Powell loaded approximately $10 million into a red, white, and blue wheelbarrow and wheeled it out of the Capitol building, down past the Washington Monument, and then dumped the entire stack into the Potomac River.