WASHINGTON -- Democratic distress over rising interest rates boiled over at a House subcommittee hearing Thursday as liberals accused banks and the Federal Reserve of thwarting both the recovery and the aspirations of middle-class America.

"Your rate hikes mean hundreds of dollars more a month on mortgage payments," said Rep. Nydia M. Velazquez, D-N.Y. "For many, that is the difference in whether they can afford to own a home."

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