Republican Senators busted trying to water down the “Audit the Fed” billby Stephen Gordon
The Senate version of The Federal Reserve Transparency Act (HR1207) is being watered down. Not by Democrats, but by two ranking Republicans. The Huffington Post reports:
Thanks to an overlooked document posted on the website of Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, the top ranking Republican on the Finance Committee, voters can virtually watch the water being dumped into the brew that Grassley had hoped to force the Fed to drink. (See the document at the bottom of this story.)
On page five of Grassley’s amendment, he intends to give the Comptroller General of the Government Accountability Office power to audit “any action taken by the Board under…the third undesignated paragraph of section 13 of the Federal Reserve Act” — which would be almost everything that it has done on an emergency basis to address the financial crisis, encompassing its massive expansion of opaque buying and lending.
Handwritten into the margins, however, is the amendment that watered it down: “with respect to a single and specific partnership or corporation.” With that qualification, the Senate severely limited the scope of the oversight.
On the Senate floor, Grassley named the top Republican on the banking committee, Richard Shelby of Alabama, as the man pouring the water.
“Although I would have preferred to include all of the Fed’s emergency actions under 13(3), in consultation with Senator Shelby I agreed to limit my amendment to actions aimed at specific companies,” said Grassley.
The Federal Reserve has a considerable amount of influence over our fiscal status, but there is no tranparency of their actions. It’s so vital that a full audit be conducted that 186 House members have co-sponsored the bill already. The way I see it, “partial audit” makes about as much sense as a “partial virgin”.
Please contact Senator Shelby and Senator Grassley and let them know we demand a full audit of the Federal Reserve.