Is that a spine I detect in the GOP leadership?

(Politico) — Republican House and Senate leaders told Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to “resist further extraordinary intervention in the U.S. economy,” saying in a letter sent Monday that steps intended to boost growth might actually make things worse.

The letter represents an audacious move against a central bank that prizes its political independence yet has become a source of controversy for some as the country stumbles out of the 2008 financial crisis.

House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl all object to a recent Fed policy that flushed $600 billion into the economy, a move they warned should not be repeated following a Fed committee meeting slated to end Wednesday afternoon.

Earlier this year, the Fed attempted to spur growth by purchasing U.S. Treasury bonds from banks by using $600 billion worth of electronically created funds. It also employed a similar maneuver — known as quantitative easing — to buy $1.25 trillion of mortgage-backed securities.

The GOP lawmakers claim that another round “could exacerbate current problems or further harm the U.S. economy.”

“Such steps may erode the already-weakened U.S. dollar or promote more borrowing by overleveraged consumers,” they wrote. “To date, we have seen no evidence that further monetary stimulus will create jobs or provide a sustainable path towards economic recovery.”

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) criticized the letter as an inappropriate effort to intimidate the Fed.

“This is a heavy-handed attempt to meddle in the Fed’s independent stewardship of monetary policy,” he said in a statement. “It should be ignored by Chairman Bernanke and the Fed’s policymakers.”

Private economic analysts had differing opinions about the impact of quantitative easing. Some noted that a weaker dollar would make American exports more affordable overseas, aiding a long-term recovery. Others suggested that a less valuable dollar led to higher oil prices that hurt the economy.