Powell repeats Fed to use full range of tools to aid economyPowell repeats Fed to use full range of tools to aid economy
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell  speaks in Washington

(Reuters) – With a full U.S. economic recovery out of reach until the coronavirus pandemic is brought to heel, the Federal Reserve will use its “full range of tools” to cushion households and businesses, Fed Chair Jerome Powell told lawmakers on Wednesday.

The recession is hurting Americans unequally, taking the deepest toll on African Americans and other minorities, Powell said in prepared remarks for his testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee. The remarks were identical to those he submitted prior to his testimony to the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday.

“If not contained and reversed, the downturn could further widen gaps in economic well-being that the long expansion had made some progress in closing,” Powell said in his remarks.

Congress has allocated nearly $3 trillion in financial relief and the U.S. central bank has pumped trillions of dollars of credit into the economy to cushion it from the fallout from the pandemic.

(Reporting by Ann Saphir; Editing by Paul Simao)