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'This isn't your father's Fed': GOP congressman

Matthew J. Belvedere
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Lawmakers want to learn from Janet Yellen what she sees as the limits of monetary policy, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee said Tuesday, ahead of the Fed chair's testimony to the panel.

"This isn't your father's Fed," Rep. Jeb Hensarling told CNBC's " Squawk Box ," The Texas Republican also questioned the extraordinary measures the Federal Reserve has used in the name of supporting the economy and whether it's worked.

The Hensarling interview was conducted before the release of the prepared text of Yellen's testimony. She said she expects a great deal of continuity from Ben Bernanke's stewardship, during which she served as No. 2 at the Fed.

(Read more: Yellen sees bettereconomy, less money-printing )

Central bank policymakers have been trying for months to downplay the importance of the amount bond-buying in favor of forward guidance on interest rates.

In her prepared remarks, Yellen said it's likely the Fed will have to keep rates near zero "well past the time" that unemployment crosses below the 6.5 percent threshold, which had been set more than a year ago as benchmark for possible monetary tightening. The jobless rate was at 6.6 percent in January.

"Where's the Fed going with this forward guidance? Is it a rule?" asked Hensarling. "What good is forward guidance if when you reach a milepost you jettison it?"

He added, "There are exceptions to every rule, but at some point you have no rule. You're making it up as you go along. And I think that breeds greater fear and uncertainty in the capital markets."

Meanwhile, Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at Wells Capital Management, told CNBC he'll be looking for any signs that the pace of Fed tapering may slow down. "That could be influential [on Wall Street] in the short term."

"But I think the Fed is going to be largely less relevant than people think this year," unless in the unlikely event that inflation concerns surface, he added.

-By CNBC's Matthew J. Belvedere . Follow him on Twitter @Matt_SquawkC NBC .

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