Ron Paul’s bill to require that the operations of the Federal Reserve be audited now has an amazing 275 co-sponsors. Remarkably, that is well over half of all the Representatives, assuring the passage of the bill should the House leadership ever allow a vote on it. The Senate counterpart, S. 604, has eighteen co-sponsors. The support for these bills is markedly bi-partisan. Every Republican in the House has co-sponsored it, as have many Democrats. Sixteen states have had their entire congressional delegations sign on as co-sponsors. Dr. Paul has introduced this bill or one like it in every session of Congress during his long tenure. Never before has it garnered any support.
Campaign For Liberty deserves a lot of credit for this. Created with the funds left over from Congressman Paul’s presidential campaign, the organization has done an excellent job of mobilizing devotees of liberty to pressure their members of Congress to support this bill. Of course the recent mind-boggling expansion of the Fed’s balance sheet, and the fact that the Congress and the public are not permitted to know who received all those freshly printed federal reserve notes or on what terms, has swelled the public demand for transparency at the Fed. The notion that the Fed should be able to conduct its operations secretly, and not account specifically for how our currency is being spent, is indefensible.
And that means there will be a lot of pressure to keep this bill from coming to a vote. Despite the fact that 2/3 of the House has co-sponsored it, the House Banking Committe, chaired by Barney Frank, has not yet commenced hearings. Senator Demint added the bill as an amendment to the recent appropriations bill, but the Senate leadership nixed it on technical grounds, despite conceding that the technical argument relied upon was routinely overlooked, including in the very bill in issue. Fed Vice Chair Donald has gone to Congress to try to make the case that secrecy equals transparency, and claims that opening the operations of the Fed to audit will destroy the economy (imagine that). Recently a band of economists and financiers (Keynesians all) published a piece in the Wall Street Journal which, while vague, seems to be directed against the bill. Of course, even if the bill should make it through Congress, it might very well be vetoed by the President. Govco doesn’t really want the citizens to see the books.
For those interested, below are links to Florida congressman Alan Grayson’s questioning of Elizabeth Coleman, the Inspector General of the Fed, Mr. Kohn, and most recently Ben Bernanke. These are truly incredible. As proof that this movement is not merely from old school conservatives, Mr. Grayson is a first term liberal Democrat.
Here is video showing the Senate blocking Senator Demint’s attempt to get the legislation passed.
Finally, check this out (and the accompanying data): http://www.clevelandfed.org/research/data/credit_easing/index.cfm
Let’s hope that this bill gets passed. Maybe it will be the first step toward ending the Federal Reserve.