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it's the first time federal reserve chairman Jerome Powell delivered his semi annual economic update from a healthy financial services committee and now controlled by Democrats and to the exchange Wednesday took on a more political tone right from chairwoman Maxine waters first question president trump's policies are damaging our economy are challenging grow this is what you had to pause rate hikes not surprisingly publican members wanted something else from Powell allegation there so more people are working and all if you wanna look at all of the races there everyone's working more right yes the labor market is very healthy very healthy I find it fascinating that so my colleagues across the aisle bash the tax cuts they bash the president %HESITATION and the economic policies that have come from this administration and a Republican Congress but the net and result has been that more people work with both sides of the aisle trying to use power to score political points that left little room for the fed chief provide insight on monetary policy or expand on this upbeat outlook and our January meeting my colleagues and I generally expected economic activity to expand at a solid pace albeit somewhat slower than in two thousand eighteen and the job market to remain strong but that strength Powell told house lawmakers Wednesday could be in jeopardy due to a slow down in trading partners in Europe and China that's why he said he hit the pause button on any more rate moves topic Paul was clearly more comfortable talking about as he tried to avoid falling into political land mines set by newly empowered house Democrats or Republicans