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Watch Kennedy’s questioning here.

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today questioned Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell during a Senate Banking Committee hearing about the rising U.S. debt and urged him not to politicize the U.S. dollar.

Key excerpts include:

Kennedy: “I have some questions, but first, I have a plea. Above all else—above everything else on your plate—I ask that you please preserve the independence of the Federal Reserve. The last thing that America needs right now is to have the Federal Reserve politicized. It’s the last thing the world needs right now. And believe me, the whole world is watching, including our enemies. . . . Political fads come and go, but the dollar doesn’t—I hope not. The dollar underpins the entire world economy. Politicize it at your own risk.

. . .

Kennedy: “Behind me is a chart of our public debt going all the way back to, I think, 1990. You don’t have to be Euclid to see that the direction is up. . . . So, here’s my question to you: At what point—how much is too much? At what point, in your judgment, are we going to hit the point where you have to say: ‘No, that’s it. We can’t do anymore. It’s hurting the world. It’s hurting our country’?

Powell: “ . . . We’re on an unsustainable path. Debt is not at an unsustainable level, but the path is unsustainable—meaning it’s growing faster than the economy, meaningfully faster than the economy. We have to address that over time. We will address it over time. And the better way to do it is soon.”

Kennedy asked Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen a similar question last November.

Watch the video of Kennedy’s questioning here.