WASHINGTON, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Senate Democrats Thursday the Fed has done all it can to stimulate the economy through monetary policy.
Some Senate Democrats have urged Bernanke to do more in the way of stimulus, but he told senators during the Democrats' weekly policy lunch no further monetary stimulus is planned, The Hill reported.
"He's said he's done all he can do on the monetary side, and I think it's probably accurate," Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois said. "Now it's up to us."
A Senate Democratic aide The Hill did not identify told the publication Bernanke's message puts more pressure on Congress to pass a $35 billion measure to help retain jobs for teachers and first responders.
"That's right, we need to pass a jobs bill, and that's what we're trying to do," the aide said.
During the session with Democrats, Bernanke said he and other U.S. economic officials have offered suggestions to European leaders for avoiding financial crisis, The Hill reported. Those attending the meeting declined to say whether Bernanke said he thought Europe's financial troubles could be prevented from spreading beyond Europe.
"There are some critical decisions being made over there that could have an impact on the United States," Durbin said. "He did talk about some meetings that are coming up very soon that are very critical when it comes to the future of Greece."