Congressman Ron Paul (TX-14) today expressed disappointment that the Senate failed to pass an amendment offered by Senator Vitter (amending the Senate financial reform bill), which included the express language of Congressman Paul’s landmark “Audit the Fed” legislation. Paul’s legislation passed by a large margin in the House of Representatives last fall as part of the House financial reform bill, and Senator Vitter’s amendment would have paved the way for a full and ongoing audit of all of the Federal Reserve’s lending and monetary policy activity.
However, the Vitter amendment was supported by over 1/3 of the Senate, and the Sanders amendment (calling for disclosure of how approximately $2 trillion of Federal Reserve credit facilities were dispersed) passed unanimously today in the Senate. Therefore Paul remains hopeful that momentum is shifting and the days of Federal Reserve secrecy are coming to an end.
“The 37 votes our measure received in the Senate represent a strong step in our continuing work for full Federal Reserve transparency. In addition, the passage of the Sanders Amendment is a victory for taxpayers, who will finally know who received $2 trillion of their money,” stated Congressman Paul. “The Fed is no longer an untouchable monolith. It can no longer take for granted its absolute power to create and give away public money at will, with no true accountability. With strong support in the Senate, the House, and especially among the public, more victories for full transparency lie ahead.”
Today, the U.S. Senate voted 62 to 37 against an amendment to allow greater transparency at the Federal Reserve.
This amendment was introduced to counter a weaker amendment that would have required only a one-time audit just of Fed emergency programs. The new amendment was similar to the original H.R. 1207 audit bill introduced by Congressman Ron Paul and added to the House financial reform package.
“The Sanders Amendment is no substitute for a complete and thorough audit of the Fed,” said John Tate, President of Campaign for Liberty. “With this vote, we now have a record of those who really want transparency and those who only pay lip-service to it while upholding the status quo.”
If the entire financial regulation bill makes it out of the Senate, it heads to the House, where House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank will choose which version to move forward on.
“The Dodd bill itself is just another bad piece of legislation, which will benefit no one except the Fed and its friends at big banks,” said Tate. “It institutionalizes bailouts for banks and subsidizes risky financial decisions.”
“Despite what happens with the financial regulation bill, we will continue pushing Congress for an up or down vote on H.R. 1207, which is the only full audit to allow true transparency in our financial system.”