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October 6, 2009

Babs Boxer Will Do Anything For Re-Election: Even Cosponsor S.604!

by Brad Warbiany

Back in July, I sent letters to Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein urging them to support or even cosponsor S.604, the Audit-The-Fed bill. I received the typical mealy-mouthed responses (posted below after the fold), and like a bad blogger I never actually mentioned the responses here. How mealy-mouthed was Boxer’s response? Well, THIS was the most substantive thing she said:

I believe that all citizens should become involved in the legislative process by letting their voices be heard, and I appreciate the time and effort that you took to share your thoughts with me. One of the most important aspects of my job is keeping informed about the views of my constituents, and I welcome your comments so that I may continue to represent California to the best of my ability. Should I have the opportunity to consider legislation on this or similar issues, I will keep your views in mind.

Great… You thank me for sharing my thoughts. I feel empowered!

What you don’t say is anything whatsoever regarding your opinion on the legislation (at least Feinstein gave me *something*). So how do I interpret your letter?

‘I’m gonna put my finger up in the air and see which way the wind blows, because I have a vulnerable seat in 2010 and I don’t want to piss anyone off. If I see any benefit to myself, I might at some point take a position on this legislation.’

So, today, when I was reading United Liberty, I was reminded of S.604, and decided to check to see if there were any surprises. And to my astonishment, there was! Barbara Boxer actually co-sponsored S.604!!

Do I think she’s really all that interested in an audit of the Federal Reserve? Not from the email response I received. But hey, she knows a populist wave when she sees one, and she’s gonna ride this one to Nov 2010.

There are a lot of forces assembling behind the Audit the Fed movement. Those forces are having traction. Enough traction, in fact, to get a California Democratic Senator to fall into line. It may be a political calculation, but if someone like Boxer has to make that calculation, it proves that there’s actually some real mojo here. Congratulations are due to Ron Paul, because without his tireless work in the House, we wouldn’t be this close to a serious review of what goes on at the Fed.

Letter from Boxer:

Dear Mr. Warbiany:

Thank you for contacting my office to express your views on S.604, the Federal Reserve Sunshine Act of 2009, which would require the Comptroller General to conduct an audit of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve and its banks before the end of 2010 and to report its detailed findings to Congress.

I believe that all citizens should become involved in the legislative process by letting their voices be heard, and I appreciate the time and effort that you took to share your thoughts with me. One of the most important aspects of my job is keeping informed about the views of my constituents, and I welcome your comments so that I may continue to represent California to the best of my ability. Should I have the opportunity to consider legislation on this or similar issues, I will keep your views in mind.

For additional information about my activities in the U.S. Senate, please visit my website, http://boxer.senate.gov. From this site, you can access statements and press releases that I have issued about current events and pending legislation, request copies of legislation and government reports, and receive detailed information about the many services that I am privileged to provide for my constituents. You may also wish to visit http://thomas.loc.gov to track current and past legislation.

Again, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me. I appreciate hearing from you.

Barbara Boxer
United States Senator

Letter from Feinstein:

Dear Mr. Warbiany:

Thank you for contacting me to express support for legislation to increase transparency at the Federal Reserve. I appreciate your interest in monetary policy and welcome the opportunity to respond.

The Federal Reserve was originally established in response to the country’s need for a sound and independent central bank to manage decisions relating to U.S. monetary policy. I understand your concern with some of the unprecedented steps that the Federal Reserve has taken recently to ease the flow of credit and stabilize financial markets.

On March 16, 2009, Senator Bernard Sanders (I-VT) introduced the “Federal Reserve Sunshine Act of 2009″ (S. 604), which would require the U.S. Comptroller General to audit the Federal Reserve System before the end of 2010. This bill has been referred to the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee. Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) has introduced a similar bill (H.R. 1207) in the House of Representatives. Please know that I will keep your support for this legislation in mind should it come before the full Senate.

While I recognize the importance of accountability in the operations of the Federal Reserve, I strongly believe that monetary decisions should be made independent of political influence or motives. You may be interested to learn that I supported an amendment to the Congressional Budget Resolution (S. Con. Res. 13) offered by Senator Sanders requiring the Federal Reserve to disclose how it has disbursed emergency economic assistance to financial institutions during this severe economic crisis. Be assured that I am carefully monitoring the actions taken by the Federal Reserve to help stimulate our economy and unfreeze credit for businesses and homeowners.

Once again, thank you for writing. I hope that you will continue to share your views with me. If I can be of any further assistance, please contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841. Best regards.

Sincerely yours, Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

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  • Pingback: Below The Beltway » Blog Archive » Write Your Senators And Congressman: Support The Bills To Audit The Fed

  • http://www.twitter.com/jhonsun jhonsun

    Don’t worry about being a bad blogger, that’s what the FTC is for right?

    I sent Boxer an email to thank her for supporting S.604. I was as astonished as you. I told her to wake Feinstein up long enough to cosponsor it as well. No response on that one.

    I asked Chuck Devore a couple months ago where he stood on the bill to audit the Fed. He said he would cosponsor it if he were Senator. I asked him if he would support abolishing the Fed but he was mum.

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