WASHINGTON - Rep. Henry B. Gonzalez, the House Banking Committee's senior Democrat, blasted the Federal Reserve for keeping short-term interest high and said it should lower rates immediately.

"Surprise, surprise," the Texas Democrat said. "Doubling short-term interest rates in 12 months did not produce the bright, sunny days the Fed saw in its crystal ball. The Fed should not wait until its July meeting to reduce short-term rates. They can and should act now."

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