"We don't have the ability to operate directly on that other than again, by carrying out our mandate of maximum employment and stable prices", Powell said.
Repeating his mantra that the economy is in "a good place" and "performing well", the chairman brushed off fears of the coronavirus.
"We are closely monitoring the emergence of the coronavirus, which could lead to disruptions in China that spill over to the rest of the global economy", Powell said in prepared remarks.
And he called out for the second day his concerns about the rise in USA debt.
Powell was speaking before Congress on Tuesday.More news: Kate Middleton Gets Wrapped Up By Snake & Is Completely Unbothered By It!
And the number of people working more than one job is at "a very, very high level right now", Powell said.
"So he wants to put as much pressure on the Fed as he can", Tchir said.
But the Fed doesn't see any need to ease monetary policy for now.
Many Representatives asked about climate change.
Sen. Mark Warner, Democrat from Virginia, said that many other government institutions are "under assault" from the Trump administration, citing White House attacks on intelligence agencies and turmoil at the Justice Department over the prosecution of Trump's associate Roger Stone.More news: The Strokes Announce New Album
On Monday, Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Patrick Harker said that if the coronavirus-related economic malaise now hurting China spills over and deals the US economy a material blow, the Fed may be forced to drop interest rates in an effort to contain the fallout.
Powell defended himself when questioned about the optics of attending a party thrown by Jeff Bezos after the annual Alfalfa Club dinner, which Trump family members attended, saying he didn't speak to any of them and was there with his son and his new daughter-in-law.
"If the situation gets significantly worse and we start to see significant impact on the USA economy, then we have to think about accommodating", Harker said, adding, "But I don't think we're at that point right now". "Low rates are not really a choice anymore, they are a fact of reality". The US economic expansion, now in its 11th year, the longest on record. The job market is tight but it "isn't showing up as tight in wages". The answer, he said, is still too early to know.
The Senate Banking Committee holds a nomination hearing for conservative economist Judy Shelton and St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank research chief Christopher Waller on Thursday.
"The real question for the Fed is: What is the likely effect on the USA economy?"More news: The Essential Phone: Android co-founder's company closing down