After more than three decades of tilting at windmills, Ron Paul is finally gaining support for his beloved Audit The Fed bill. The bill, H.R. 459, passed the House Oversight Committee this morning on a voice vote, with no vocal opposition. House Republican leaders have said that they plan on addressing the legislation on the floor sometime next month.
The bill would eliminate some of the existing restrictions on Federal Reserve audits, including those on transactions with foreign banks and governments, deliberations over monetary policy, and communications between Federal Reserve board members.
It’s the latest iteration of Paul’s signature legislation, which he has introduced several times during his tenure in Congress, most recently as part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform package. A similar bill, introduced by Paul’s son, Sen. Rand Paul, has been introduced in the Senate, but has failed to garner much momentum.
But while Paul’s earlier efforts to audit the Federal Reserve system were largely dismissed as another one of his crazy ideas, his colleagues have started to warm to the idea in the wake of the 2008 financial meltdown. Today’s vote might be further evidence that, in the twilight of his career, the rest of the country might be starting to come around to Ron Paul.
Here’s Paul’s statement on the vote:
“I am very happy that the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform today passed H.R. 459. The bill passed unanimously by voice vote, with all of its strong audit provisions intact. It is time for the Federal Reserve to face a thorough audit of its monetary policy and lending operations. The Fed’s purchases of dubious assets from favoured Wall Street institutions; its lending of hundreds of billions of dollars to foreign governments and central banks; and the prospect of further quantitative easing and European bailouts underscore the critical need for transparency. I am deeply appreciative of the overwhelming support this legislation has received from my colleagues in the House, especially today from the Oversight Committee. I look forward to seeing my Audit the Fed legislation passed by a bipartisan majority of Congress next month.”
And here’s Sen. Paul’s release:
“Today, I applaud the unanimous passage of Audit the Fed out of committee and commend House leadership for promising a vote on Audit the Fed next month,” Sen. Paul said. “It is important that we get our economy growing again through savings and investment, not more debt and deficit spending. But we can’t turn the economy around until we fix the root of the problem: an unaccountable Federal Reserve. A complete and thorough audit of the Fed will finally allow the American people to know exactly how their money is being spent by Washington.”
“I have introduced similar legislation in the Senate and will continue to fight on the frontlines of this battle to get Audit the Fed passed through Congress.”
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