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WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), member of the Senate Banking Committee, this week questioned Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen about the value of the U.S. dollar, its impact on commodity pricing, and the strength of our economic recovery.

“Kansans aren’t seeing our economy recover,” said Sen. Moran. “In my conversations with Kansans, I haven’t talked to many who see their economic future as brighter. They don’t feel more secure in their jobs. They’re worried about having opportunities for their kids when they graduate from school and about whether or not their kids can pay back their loans. They’re worried they can’t save for their own retirement or for healthcare emergencies. The sense of an economic recovery is far from being felt universally.”

In her testimony and again in response to Sen. Moran’s questioning about economic strength and the value of our dollar, specifically in relation to prices for agricultural commodities, Chairwoman Yellen admitted that business investment outside the energy sector has been “surprisingly weak.” She cited “slow growth and a less rapid increase in the labor force” as possible explanations for generally overall weak investment spending.

Sen. Moran continued, “Chairwoman Yellen’s testimony helps us understand the Federal Reserve’s thinking on how to strengthen our economy. It’s clear that when business owners are hit with regulation after regulation, when the Department of Labor ignores productivity and free market wages, and when potential entrepreneurs can’t see a path to success, Americans will remain out of work and worried about their futures.”

Highlights of the exchange may be found below, along with links to the video:

Chairwoman Yellen (4:55) “I don’t have a story to offer you on why this has happened, [investment spending] has been surprisingly weak over the last several months. It hasn’t been very strong, investment spending generally… we think we understand some reasons why it has generally been weak, namely slow growth and less rapid increase in the labor force, but it has been surprisingly weak in recent months. It is something we’re watching and I can’t tell you just what that’s due to.”

Sen. Moran (6:15) “One of the places we ought to focus our attention on is innovation, startup businesses, new entrepreneurs and the uncertainty that they face, which has even more dramatic consequences than a larger business that can better internalize and handle that uncertainty.”

Click here to watch Sen. Moran’s remarks on YouTube.