Concerns were raised after highly supported HR 1207 was gutted by Mel Watts, who offered a version of the bill so different as to not to be taken seriously, in response, Congressmen Ron Paul and Alan Grayson added an amendment to HR 3996, which Paul says, if passed, “will grant sweeping new powers to the Federal Reserve, at least with this amendment attached, it won’t be acting in secret anymore. This is a major victory for Federal Reserve transparency and government accountability.” The amendment passed by a vote of 43-26.
According to a press release from Ron Paul, the amendment includes this:
· Removes the blanket restrictions on GAO audits of the Fed
· Allows audit of every item on the Fed’s balance sheet, all credit facilities, all securities purchase programs, etc.
· Retains limited audit exemption on unreleased transcripts and minutes
· Sets 180-day time lag before details of Fed’s market actions may be released
· States that nothing in the amendment shall be construed as interference in or dictation of monetary policy by Congress or the GAO
This is great news of course, but the forces against auditing the Fed are formidable, and won’t quit until it is made law or gotten rid of.
Of course the entirety of HR 3996 remains to be voted on now that it has passed committee, and you know what can happen there. Hopefully support will continue and at minimum we’ll be able, as Ron Paul says, follow the inner workings of the Federal Reserve, which would have to do things out in the open rather than behind closed doors liked they’ve done for so many years.