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Rep. Brad Sherman jokes God wants interest rates low until spring

Rep. Brad Sherman jokes God wants interest rates low until spring

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks), shown in 2012, doesn’t want the federal interest rate to go up this year.

(Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

Maybe Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) was going for something of a Hail Mary on Wednesday when he addressed Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.

Not satisfied with the usual arguments lawmakers and economists typically make when asking Yellen to hold off on the first federal rate hike in nearly a decade, Sherman invoked the wishes of the Almighty.

“God’s plan is not for things to rise in the autumn, as a matter of fact, that’s why we call it fall. Nor is it God’s plan for things to rise in the winter, through the snow,” Sherman said. “God’s plan is that things rise in the spring. And so if you want to be good with the Almighty, you might want to delay until May.”

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The unscripted line drew smiles from staffers seated behind him and snarky tweets. Sherman later clarified his remarks, writing on Twitter that he doesn't "actually think God has an opinion on monetary policy."

Sherman's San Fernando Valley district stretches from Studio City to Canoga Park to Granada Hills.

Asked if the congressman's comments were a biblical reference, Sherman spokesman Ben Fishel said they were intended as more of a "seasonal" reference.

"It was tongue in cheek," he said. "I guess he was trying to be funny."

Sherman's comments did not seem to have much of an effect on Yellen, who confirmed that a rate hike could come during the December meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee. She described an interest rate hike as “live possibility” if the economy continues to add jobs.

Twitter: @jpanzar 

For more, go to latimes.com/politics.

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