Liberal US Senator Enters 2016 Presidential Race
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of the northeastern state of Vermont says he will seek the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.
Sanders revealed his plans in interviews with the Associated Press and USA Today. He will hold a press conference Thursday to further outline his plans.
The 73-year-old self-described socialist is a registered independent, but has been part of the Senate Democratic caucus since he was first elected in 2006. Along with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, Sanders has become a favorite in the Democratic Party's emerging left wing for his stands on such issues as alleviating income inequality, strengthening Social Security, imposing tougher regulations on Wall Street and opposition to free trade deals, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership currently being negotiated by President Barack Obama.
Sanders is considered a longshot against former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, the only other declared candidate for the 2016 Democratic nomination, but his entry into the race could force Clinton to adopt views similar to those of Sanders.
Fed Holds Interest Rate Steady as Economic Growth Slows
The U.S. central bank says economic growth slowed over the past few months as unusually bad winter weather and slack exports took a toll.
In a policy statement, the Fed said that top Federal Reserve officials have voted to keep the key interest rate steady at the record low level where it has been since the financial crisis in 2008.
Fed officials wrote that keeping the interest rate low will help the economy resume "moderate" growth. They said officials will watch for further improvements in the job market and slightly higher inflation before they raise rates.
During the recession, the Fed cut interest rates nearly to zero in hopes of bolstering recovery. When record low interest rates failed to spark economic growth, the Fed developed tools that had never been used before in the U.S. economy by implementing several massive bond-buying programs to push rates down.
Eight years after the financial crisis, unemployment has fallen from a recession high of 10 percent in 2009 to 5.5 percent now. The stock market recovered its losses and has been hitting new record highs.
Inflation remains below the 2 percent rate that Fed experts say would be healthy for the economy.