Complete video from today's hearing.
Paul to Bernanke: "This isn't a clown bill, bro..."
Quick rundown. 257 co-sponsors is fewer than last time, but it will pass the House easily, same as last time. The real battle will be in the Senate, where Bernie Sanders caved in 2010 and weakened the first audit's scope, though it was still a massive victory as it forced the Fed to come clean on $16 trillion of secret loans to Wall Street, and diffused Bernanke's specious argument that disclosure of emergency program details would harm the banks who got the help. The only one who tried to weaken the bill was the wondrously gifted gentleman from North Carolina, Rep. Elijah Cummings, who simultaneously sucks on Bernanke's left and right teat.
The House Oversight Committee easily cleared legislation Wednesday that would require a top-to-bottom audit of the Federal Reserve. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), was advanced by the committee on a bipartisan voice vote with no vocal opposition. The measure, which has garnered 257 co-sponsors from both parties, would require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct a full audit of the Fed's operations, including its monetary policy deliberations, for the first time.
Before the audit bill cleared the oversight committee on Wednesday, ranking member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) attempted to introduce an amendment that would prevent the GAO from auditing the Fed's deliberations on monetary policy. Cummings withdrew the amendment after Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) voiced opposition, saying it "essentially guts this bill."
(WASHINGTON)–On a bipartisan voice vote the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee advanced H.R. 459, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act, introduced by Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas. The bill is supported by a bipartisan coalition of more than 220 Democratic and Republican members of the House.
Chairman Issa said, “President Reagan’s first OMB director recently pointed out it took 93 years for the federal reserve to build a balance sheet of $900 billion dollars, but only seven weeks to add the next $900 billion after Lehman crashed in 2008. The Fed’s balance sheet now stands at nearly $3 trillion. It is long past time for a real audit.”
“The public has a right to know how government spends taxpayer dollars and they have a right to know how government agencies—especially the Federal Reserve—leverage that revenue to create trillions in new debt. This measure will bring vital transparency to long-secret Federal Reserve activities affecting public interests,” Chairman Issa added.
The bill is anticipated to be voted on by the full House of Representatives later this summer. During the Committee mark-up on the legislation, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) spoke prominently in support of the measure citing a desire for greater transparency in government operations.
Official statement from Rep. Ron Paul:
“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 favored 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."
Official statement from Sen. Rand Paul:
“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.”
So, Bernanke, who got the money?