Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said in an interview airing Sunday that the U.S. economy is on the verge of a major rebound and that the big risk is a possible resurgence of the coronavirus.
“What we’re seeing now is really an economy that seems to be at an inflection point,” Mr. Powell said for CBS’ “60 Minutes.” “And that’s because of widespread vaccination and strong fiscal support, strong monetary policy support.”
“We feel like we’re at a place where the economy’s about to start growing much more quickly and job creation coming in much more quickly, so the principal risk to our economy right now really is that the disease would spread again,” he said.
Mr. Powell’s comments come as President Biden pushes a new $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan, on top of a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package congressional Democrats muscled through last month.
Mr. Biden also is expected to roll out additional spending proposals in areas like health care and child care in the coming weeks.
Republicans said the $1.9 trillion COVID package went way beyond the needs of the country, given the recent trends of the virus and positive developments on vaccines.
Senate Minority Whip John Thune of South Dakota, the chamber’s No. 2-ranking Republican, suggested shifting some of the unspent COVID-19 relief money to pay for some of the infrastructure package.
“I think we ought to re-purpose some of the money that has already been spent or [appropriated] at least and hasn’t been spent in all of these previous COVID bills,” Mr. Thune said on “Fox News Sunday.” “We just did $350 billion to a lot of states out there and this would be a good use for those funds.”