(Reuters) - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Tuesday renewed a pledge to prevent Europe's financial crisis from damaging the U.S. economy in testimony before Congress that mirrored remarks he made last week.

We are in frequent contact with European authorities, and we will continue to monitor the situation closely and take every available step to protect the U.S. financial system and the economy, Bernanke said in remarks prepared for delivery to the Senate Budget Committee.

The Fed chairman maintained a cautious tone on the U.S. outlook and did not refer to surprisingly strong U.S. jobs data released on Friday.

We still have a long way to go before the labor market can be said to be operating normally, he said, employing language identical to remarks delivered on Thursday before the House budget panel.