Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders criticized the US Federal Reserve for raising its interest rates for the first time in nine years.
In a widely-telegraphed move, the Fed on Wednesday unanimously voted to set a new target range for the federal funds rate at 0.25% to 0.5% – up from zero to 0.25%.
Just a short time later, the Senator from Vermont called the move “bad news for working families,” arguing that the Fed needed to be doing more, not less, to boost the economy.
“At a time when real unemployment is nearly 10% and youth unemployment is off the charts, we need to do everything possible to create millions of good-paying jobs and raise the wages of the American people,” Sanders said in a statement.
“The Fed should act with the same sense of urgency to rebuild the disappearing middle class as it did to bail out Wall Street banks seven years ago.”
In September, Sanders, calling for the Fed to do more than simply raise or lower interest rates, put out essentially the same message when it was announced that they would hold off on raising rates.
Wednesday marked the first rate hike since 2006 and the first time rates have been moved from near zero since the end of 2008.
The Fed said the increase was warranted by an improved economy, and stressed that it would move very gradually to bring borrowing costs back up to more historically normal levels.