With yesterday’s ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Loretta Preska that ordered the Federal Reserve to hand over records regarding the lending of taxpayer money to various financial institution, there’s renewed interest in keeping the federal government accountable for their financial practices—especially when it comes to bailouts and monetary policy.
There are currently two pieces of legislation in Congress, HR 1207, which has 282 co-sponsors (101 of which are Democrats) and S 604 which has 23 co-sponsors that would bring new accountability to the Federal Reserve. Notable co-sponsors include Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Russ Feingold (D-WI) and Jim DeMint (R-SC).
The legislation, titled the “Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009” would allow the Comptroller General of the United States to do a financial audit of the Federal Reserve. After the audit is complete, the Comptroller General would be required to report his or her findings to Congress.
Although the Federal Reserve is not technically a government agency, it’s a staple of the United States’ current economic system and was created through congressional legislation. A recent survey from Rasmussen reports found that a super-majority of Americans think that it might be time to take a second look as to whether or not the Federal Reserve should continue to operate without accountability.
The survey found that 75% of Americans now support an audit of the nation’s central bank, and only 9% of Americans opposed an audit.