By MARTIN CRUTSINGERWASHINGTON (AP) — The latest on Federal Reserve Janet Yellen's testimony to Congress' Joint Economic Committee (all times Eastern): ___ 11:20 a.m. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, staking out a position in opposition to the incoming Trump administration, gives a strong defense of the Dodd-Frank Act. That's the 2010 legislation that increased regulations on the financial system in an effort to prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis. Yellen tells Congress' Joint Economic Committee that after the country lived through a "devastating financial crisis," there was a need to put into place safeguards that would make the financial system safer. She says, "I would not want to see the clock turned back on all the improvements we have made." During the campaign, President-elect Donald Trump was highly critical of the Dodd-Frank law, arguing that it imposed too many burdens on the nation's financial system and was making it harder for people to get credit. Republicans in Congress have been trying for a number of years to repeal the Dodd-Frank Act and replace it with a less stringent regulatory regime. ___ 10:40 a.m. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen indicates in testimony before Congress Thursday that the central bank remains on track to boost interest rates. She tells the Joint Economic Committee that the reports that have come out since the Fed met in early November show the economy is "making good progress" toward the goals the Fed has said it wanted to see before it raised rates again. She agrees that there had been significant moves in the markets since the election of Republican Donald Trump as president, including a rise in long-term bond yields. She says she interprets that as an expectation among investors that the federal government's deficit could increase based on Trump's budget and tax plans.
Yellen says the Fed does not know "what is going to happen" when Trump and a new Congress take office next year. But she says the central bank will take into account decisions by Congress and the administration in implementing its interest-rate policies.___ 10:35 a.m. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen says she has no plans of stepping down as head of the central bank before her term as chair is up at the end of January 2018. Asked about that possibility, she tells the congressional Joint Economic Committee that "it is fully my intention" to serve out her term. She says she could not imagine any circumstances that would cause her to leave early. There had been speculation that Yellen might decide to step down following the election of Republican Donald Trump, who was openly critical of Yellen during the campaign. Trump charged that Yellen was too political and was keeping interest rates low not to help the economy but to help Democrats retain control of the White House. ___ 10:10 a.m. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is delivering remarks before the Joint Economic Committee, made up of lawmakers from the House and Senate. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-New York, praises Yellen for her "steady hand" in helping to lift the economy out of a deep recession. Maloney says that it is her hope that the Fed would remain insulated from political attacks. In prepared remarks, Yellen sketches a picture of an improving U.S. economy and says "the case for an increase" in interest rates has strengthened. The Fed is widely expected to raise rates when it meets in mid-December. She notes that the job market has made further improvement this year and that inflation, while still below the Fed's 2 percent target, has started to pick up.