Until mid-2000, when it expired, a piece of legislation known as Humphrey-Hawkins required the Federal Open Market Committee to report to Congress on the economy and monetary policy twice a year. While Congress wrangles over new legislation, the practice continues, with reports in February and July. While they're no longer officially Humphrey-Hawkins reports, they're still colloquially called that.

Concurrently with the release of the report, the Fed chairman testifies before Congress, summing up the report. Traditionally, it is among the most important speeches given by the Fed chairman. Under Humphrey-Hawkins, the testimony was delivered first to the House Banking Committee, and to the Senate Banking Committee within several days.

The original legislation, the Full Employment and Balanced Growth Act of 1978, was named for its sponsors, Sen. Hubert Humphrey and Rep. Augustus Hawkins.

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