Chairman Ben Bernanke says the Federal Reserve's efforts to bolster growth have helped lift the U.S. economy out of the Great Recession. But he acknowledged the economy remains weak and cautioned that the Fed can only do so much.
"I don't think it is the case that there has been no progress. The recovery has been slower than we like but clearly we have made progress," Bernanke said during testimony before the House Financial Services Committee.
Bernanke defended the Fed's two rounds of large-scale bond purchases, which has helped drive mortgage rates and other interest rates lower to encourage more borrowing and spending.
Republicans on panel questioned the purchases. Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, said that despite the Fed's efforts, economic growth has been weak.