Ron Paul: I’d like to give you an update on 1207. This week we went over the number 218, which means that the majority of the members of the House of Representatives have signed on as co-sponsors. As a matter of fact, we’re up to 223 co-sponsors of the bill and this means that the momentum is picking up. It would be nice someday to see 290, which would mean that it could be passed even under suspension. We still have a long way to go, but this is really a very important event, an important number.
We also have to remember that we should push S 604, the Senate bill, which is the same bill and there’s not nearly as many co-sponsors over there, but eventually the Senate would have to act on this bill.
But we also have the strong support of Dennis Kucinich. As a matter of fact, he came on and symbolically became the 218th member to co-sponsor our legislation, but I also have co-sponsored his legislation, which is HR 2424. As a matter of fact, he has passed that in the committee that he’s on, the Government Oversight Committee, and that now will be acted on one way or the other.
Now, his bill is a little bit different. What it does, it provides access from Congress and the GAO to look at the papers in the Federal Reserve dealing with the lending facilities that were all devised here in this past year and that is very important and I have, like I said, been a co-sponsor of that.
But his bill now has… several things could happen and that could be brought directly to the floor or it could go to the Banking Committee. As a matter of fact, I think Chairman Frank is asking to take a look at that bill and that’s not all bad, but it does lend itself to some confusion. But if it comes to the Banking Committee, then I might then have the opportunity to take 1207 and attach it to what Mr. Kucinich has done and that would be fine. His bill doesn’t cancel my efforts out and my bill doesn’t cancel his efforts out.
But 1207 is much broader, Dennis’ bill has a sunset provision. After five years, it is sunsetted. That’s not all bad, but it’s not as good as what we’d want. What 1207 does, it’s an overall audit of everything the Fed does and there’s no sunsetting on it and calls for a full audit.
So it’s a different approach and 1207 is much thorough and, of course, we want to make sure that the bill in the Senate gets momentum as well. So we are now looking forward to some very positive things happening, but we also have to remember, there’s nothing automatic about this.
I think when push comes to shove, the authorities who will be under the gun if we ever get the Fed exposed are going to come down real hard and they’re going to be talking to the leaders of both parties on all the bad things that could happen if they ever found out what was going on.
But, you know, in a way, I don’t lie awake at night worrying about this because I think we’ve had a major victory. We’ve had a moral victory and we’ve had a political victory. We may well end up with a legislative victory, but just think, even if they close us out and they don’t allow this bill to be passed, it will prove our point. It will prove our point that there’s a lot of shenanigans going on in the Federal Reserve that deserve attention and so the fact that so many people have joined in on this effort around the country as well as the members of Congress, it is, to me, a major victory and we have to continue this momentum.
But we have to look at all the options. The legislative process is not going to end in a week or even a month. It may take a while. When it gets to the Banking Committee, Chairman Frank might decide to extract this portion of the auditing procedure and put it into a banking bill and that might become more confusing.
And there will be efforts, of course, to water the bill down and I have to watch out for that because the temptation will be to allow the bill to go through, but strike a few clauses or put a phrase in there that really guts the bill. That’s essentially what happened in 1978 when the audit bill was passed. They said, “Sure. You can audit the Federal Reserve now, except for…” and they listed all the exclusions and made the audit bill in 1978 worthless and we need to correct that.
It’s a tremendous opportunity right now for us to find out more about the Federal Reserve, rein in the Federal Reserve, and in time, we can talk about why we don’t need the Federal Reserve and why we need a constitutional system of money which, of course, is not paper money and it can’t be run and managed by a Central bank.
But overall, there’s every reason to be excited about what has happened and that we making great progress here in the Congress and around the country for monetary reform.