Senate OKs Audit Of The Federal Reserve
The Senate unanimously voted to audit the Federal Reserve. For the first time, the public can peek into the Federal Reserve’s books. But the measure fails to go as far as some would have liked. After the amendment began receiving wide sweeping support and was guaranteed to pass concerned leadership swept in and cut a deal.
The compromise measure would retroactively open the Fed’s books to find out who the Fed bailed out and under what conditions. It’s a one time audit of an estimated $2 trillion dollars in emergency bail out funds on institutions during the financial crisis.
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), author of the amendment, said, “We are on the verge of lifting the veil of secrecy on perhaps the most important government agency in the United States of America.”
Senator Sanders’ original amendment would have allowed the Government Accountability Office to audit all of the Federal Reserve’s books. It began as a far flung proposal supported by libertarians and the left but slowly gained more traction from both sides of the political aisle. A vote on that measure offered by Senator David Vitter (R-La.) failed 37 – 62. Opponents said it would disrupt the work of the Fed and could damage the value of the dollar. Instead they voted for the more limited Sanders amendment.
UPDATE: The House of Representatives passed the broader proposal in much the same way as the Senate. Representative Ron Paul (R-Tx.) had long preached Federal Reserve accountability. Liberal lawmakers joined in and soon 330 members were on board.
The House and the Senate will have to work out the differences.