Ron Paul’s Audit the Fed Bill Could Reach House Floor Later This Month
According to a Monday release, Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-Texas) Audit the Fed bill is expected to receive a House floor vote later this month.
HR 459 passed the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform unanimously on June 27, with all major audit provisions intact.
The bi-partisan bill to more thoroughly audit the Federal Reserve Board’s activities has 263 co-sponsors, including credit union-friendly representatives Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), Shelley Capito (R-W.Va.), Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) and Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.).
The Federal Reserve’s financial statements are audited annually, but according to the release, the Fed's monetary policy operations are exempt from audit by Congress. The Government Accountability Office is prohibited by law from examining discount window and open market operations, agreements with foreign governments and central banks and Federal Open Market Committee directives.
An audit currently mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act focuses on emergency credit programs. Dodd-Frank requires information such as open market operations and discount window lending to be disclosed within two years, and with GAO restricted to auditing only the procedural components of any programs. HR 459 grants GAO and Congress access without special exemptions to all Fed lending activities.
HR 459 also requires transparency of the Fed's agreements with the European Central Bank and other foreign entities.