Ron Paul: I do appreciate coming here because it’s been an issue about auditing the Fed that I worked on for a long time. I was rather disappointed this morning to open up the Internet and read a Reuters News Service article. And it starts off by saying, “Fed dodges bullet as House drops Audit idea”. It goes on to say,
“The Federal Reserve scored a political victory on Wednesday as House Democrats dropped Ron Paul’s Fed Audit provision. The U.S. central bank appears to be emerging largely unscathed by the regulatory effort.”
Of course, that’s a great disappointment to me, but my disappointment is irrelevant to the issue because I think the American people are going to be disappointed. Because we, in the House, the sponsors of HR 1207, which is the Audit the Fed Bill, got 319 House members to support that. And that means there are a lot of Democrats that support it, as well as Republicans.
Now, I’m not an individual that’s very good at arm-twisting and going around and getting co-sponsors. The co-sponsors came from the American people asking their members of Congress to support this bill. So there is a lot of grassroots support for the transparency of the Federal Reserve System. That’s what this bill is all about.
Generally speaking, though, those who oppose auditing the Fed talk about how this would violate the independence of the Fed. And I can understand their concern, but if they know and understand what HR 1207 tries to do, they shouldn’t be worried about that. I think when you hear the word, “Independences of the Federal Reserve”, it usually means “Secrecy of the Federal Reserve” and therefore the Congress has no responsibility or obligation to audit the Fed and to monitor the Fed and to provide oversight of the Fed. And, therefore, since 1913 essentially the Fed has been not very well audited or looked at. And there has been very little transparency. But the American people are very strongly in support of this type of legislation.
Now the other charge that is made is that if we had an audit of the Fed, it would destroy the [ability] of the Federal Reserve to pursue monetary policy. And I don’t believe that is true, either. The provision in HR 1207 says the you can’t even look at what the open market committee does for six months and that’s not like looking over the shoulder of the Fed, but it means that after they do certain things and bail out certain banks or make certain loans, the American people and the Congress, have a right to know exactly what they’re doing.
But, you know, the argument that I would support something that would turn monetary policy, the decision making what interest rates should be and what monetary policy should be, over to the banking committee – I mean, I’m just not for that, whether it’s the Senate banking committee or the House banking committee. And I think that’s rather clear. But I have to be honest about it; I’m not very pleased with the way the Fed does it either, and there should be another option that some day might be made available to us. But, in the meantime we’re looking at advocating, at least those co-sponsors to this bill, that this committee considers seriously keeping that in. And I am hopeful that somebody will bring this amendment up and have a vote on this.
But I think the will of the House should prevail and we should make this recommendation. When it went through the committee it was a bi-partisan vote: 43 members to 26 endorsed this; it was passed on the House floor in the full bill. And now, of course, it’s going to conference. And I think a strong case can be made for our responsibility and for the support of this bill. And believe me, the American people are becoming more aware of the importance of the Federal Reserve and the significance of the Federal Reserve and what it does, not only in the bailouts, but also in creating the problems that we have.
So regardless of what happens, I am very, very confident that the issue of the Federal Reserve will not be laid to rest. The people in this country and more and more people are becoming aware of the fact that the Federal Reserve should not get a free ride. And that is what this is all about: don’t give the Fed a free ride. And, to me, the very best legislation, the very best thing that we can do in legislation now is to insist that HR 1207 be part of this conference report and kept in the bill. And I thank the chairman.
I suggest to Senator Dodd that if he misses my talk, then he can catch it on YouTube, who knows.
What We Can Do for a Fed Audit
This is crunch time. The bankers and lobbyists will be working hard to keep the real audit language (HR1207) out of the final legislation. But we have a voice, too, through our representatives. That is why ours is called a representative government.
Of the House Conferees, 15 of 31 members are co-sponsors of HR 1207, including all Republican members (Bachus, Royce, Biggert, Capito, Hensarling, Garrett, Lucas, Barton, Smith (TX), Issa, and Graves), and four Democrats (Peterson, Boswell, Conyers, and Shuler).
The sixteen (16) Democrats who have not cosponsored HR 1207 are listed below. Their names are conveniently hyperlinked to their contact pages so that you may easily focus your energy on emailing, calling and/or faxing them to express your support for a full and complete audit of the Federal Reserve, and the inclusion of the Paul-Grayson Amendment / HR 1207 in the final financial reform legislation. Be sure to remind them that 80% of Americans want a full audit of the Federal Reserve.
Barney Frank (D – MA)
Paul Kanjorski (D – PA)
Maxine Waters (D – CA)
Carolyn Maloney (D – NY)
Luis Gutierrez (D – IL)
Mel Watt (D – NC)
Gregory Meeks (D – NY)
Dennis Moore (D – KS)
Mary Jo Kilroy (D – OH)
Gary Peters (D – MI)
Henry Waxman (D – CA)
Bobby Rush (D – IL)
Howard Berman (D – CA)
Ed Towns (D – NY)
Elijah Cummings (D – MD)
Nydia Velazquez (D – NY)
Of the Senate Conferees, five have co-sponsored HR1207 (Crapo, Lincoln, Leahy, Harkin, and Chambliss). The seven Senate members to contact (again, conveniently hyperlinked) are:
I have been assured that contacting members has a real impact. Many listen. Many are worried about being reelected. Many just want their phones to stop ringing, their email inboxes to stop overflowing, and their fax machines untied.
Keep the pressure up and please spread the word.
Thanks to Michael Nystrom.