Tag Archives: Audit The Fed

Rand Paul to Introduce ‘Audit the Fed’ as Amendment to Senate Banking Bill

Washington, D.C. – Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) announced on March 5 that he will introduce his “Audit the Fed” legislation, which would permit a full audit of the Federal Reserve System, as an amendment to the Senate Banking Bill. The Senate is expected to vote on the Banking Bill, S. 2155— officially known as the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act— this week.

“While we have made great strides in reviving our economy through curbing overzealous regulation and cutting taxes, lasting prosperity will escape us if we do not hold the enabler of big government and our astronomical national debt accountable. It’s time for the Senate to side with the American people by removing the shackles on congressional oversight and lifting the Fed’s veil of secrecy. It’s time for us to pass Audit the Fed,” Paul said in his press release.

Passage of the Federal Reserve Transparency Act (S. 16), commonly referred to as Audit the Fed legislation, would require the nonpartisan, independent Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct a thorough audit of the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors and reserve banks within one year of the bill’s passage and to report back to Congress within 90 days of completing the audit.

Paul remains steadfast in his commitment to this legislation that he and his father, former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), worked for years to pass, with the intent to stop the Federal Reserve’s “unchecked” and “arguably unconstitutional” meddling in the free market economy.

[RELATED: Truth in Media: 100 Years of the Federal Reserve]

Senator Paul’s 2016 Federal Reserve Transparency Act received nearly unanimous Republican support, in addition to support from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI). Ultimately, the bill fell short of the required 60 votes for cloture after Senate Democrats leadership shot it down.

In January 2017, Paul reintroduced the Federal Reserve Transparency Act (S. 16), widely known as “Audit the Fed”. Appearing on Fox New with Tucker Carlson on February 7th, Paul explained why it is important for Congress to scrutinize the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy.

“The main lobby against auditing the Fed is the Fed,” Paul said. When Carlson asked what the major arguments against auditing the Federal Reserve would be, Paul cautioned:

“Some see that the Fed pays for this enormous debt and they love big government, and they know we have to have big debt for big government, and they have to pay for it, so they don’t want to mess with the Fed because right now it is able to accommodate this enormous debt.”

“The reason I want oversight is people get hurt in the downturn,” Paul continued. “So in 2008, when the housing market went bust, I blamed that on the Federal Reserve. We’re right in the middle of another boom. Anybody seen the stock market lately? It is a boom, just like the real estate boom of 2008, and it will come to an end. I wish I knew exactly when, so I could give your viewers some investment advice, but it will end. There will be a correction. We have a huge bubble in the stock market created by easy money, free money, everybody has it. Free money! Federal Reserve will hand you bouquets of money. But there will be repercussions, and that will be the downturn. There will be a response or reaction to all of this extra money.”

On the prospect of Trump signing the legislation if it were to make it through Congress, Paul said, “We’ve talked about Audit the Fed before and the fact that he supported it during his campaign. I think he will sign Audit the Fed if we can get it to him. The hardest part that we have to overcome is the institution of the Fed itself. The biggest lobbyist on Capitol Hill against auditing the Fed is the Fed.”

“I think it always has a chance of passing, but the hardest part is actually getting a vote on things,” Paul told Reason in an interview. “You never know unless you try.”

https://www.facebook.com/SenatorRandPaul/videos/1847346481984813/

 

Trump Rips Cruz for Not Showing Up to Vote for Audit the Fed

2016 Republican presidential candidate and real estate mogul Donald Trump took to Twitter on Monday to criticize rival candidate and Sen. from Texas Ted Cruz for his decision to skip a key vote on legislation that would allow Congress to audit the Federal Reserve.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/701868541545295872

In January, the bill colloquially referred to as Audit the Fed appeared for a vote before the full Senate for the first time in history, and, though a majority of senators voted in favor, some Senate Democrats effectively blocked the legislation with a filibuster, raising the threshold of votes needed to pass the bill to 60.

Every Senate Republican voted in favor of the bill except Senator from Tennessee Bob Corker, who opposed the bill, and Sen. Ted Cruz, who did not show up to vote that day despite having long advocated in favor of a Federal Reserve audit.

Democratic presidential candidate and Sen. Bernie Sanders broke party ranks and voted in favor of Audit the Fed along with Republicans.

[RELATED: Trump: Fed Chair Yellen Not Raising Rates ‘Because Obama Told Her Not To’]

Audit the Fed is considered the signature piece of legislation of former Republican Congressman Ron Paul’s entire political career. The latest iteration of the bill was introduced in the Senate by his son, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.). As such, support for the bill is deeply and viscerally ingrained in the Republican Party’s libertarian and Tea Party wings.

The Guardian’s Ben Jacobs wrote, “By skipping the vote on auditing the Fed, Cruz [risked] jeopardizing some of the credibility he has built in this faction of the Republican party. Auditing the Federal Reserve has long been an animating cause of Paul and his supporters and it has taken on major symbolic significance.

After Cruz missed the vote, he sent an email to conservative commentator Glenn Beck, which read, “I strongly support auditing the Fed. Indeed, I was an original co-sponsor of Ron Paul’s Audit the Fed bill. Unfortunately, it was clear early on that yesterday’s vote wasn’t going to succeed (it fell 7 votes short). And, at the same time that the vote was scheduled, I had longstanding commitments to be in New Hampshire — for a Second Amendment rally, and a 1500- person State of the Union town hall. If my vote would have made a difference in it passing, I would have cancelled my campaign events to be there. Because the vote was not going to succeed, I honored my commitments to be with the men and women of New Hampshire.

[RELATED: Reality Check: Ted Cruz Doesn’t Vote To Audit Fed, Took Personal Loan for Campaign from Goldman-Sachs]

Audit the Fed supporters argue that the nation’s central bank needs an audit because it operates under too much secrecy and is failing at its mission of keeping the U.S. dollar stable. Opponents of the bill say that the Federal Reserve needs to maintain independence to prevent monetary policy from being politicized by Congress.

The Federal Reserve’s inflationary policies distort the economy, creating bubbles, which in turn create a booming stock market and the illusion of widespread prosperity. Inevitably, the bubble bursts, the market crashes, and the economy sinks into a recession,” said Ron Paul in 2015, articulating a chief complaint of Fed opponents. Paul believes the Fed should be abolished and that interest rates and dollar values should be set by the market.

In January, Ben Swann released a Reality Check segment, seen below, that highlighted the fact that Cruz declined to vote on “such an important bill about which he seems to speak so passionately.”

Reality Check: Ted Cruz Doesn't Vote To Audit Fed, Took Person…

Sen. Ted Cruz missed a very important vote this week on a bill he co-sponsored, to Audit the Fed. It happened just as we all learned that his ties to big banks may run deeper than previously thought.Learn more: http://truthinmedia.com/reality-check-ted-cruz-doesnt-vote-audit-fed-took-personal-loan-campaign-goldman-sachs/

Posted by Ben Swann on Thursday, January 14, 2016

For more 2016 election coverage, click here.

Follow Barry Donegan on Facebook and Twitter.

Roll Call: How U.S. Senators Voted on Auditing the Fed

The Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2015 failed to advance on Tuesday. While the Senate voted 53-44 in favor of the bill, sixty votes were required for the bill to move forward. The full roll call showing how each U.S. Senator voted can be seen below.

YEA: 53

Alexander (R-TN)
Ayotte (R-NH)
Baldwin (D-WI)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Blunt (R-MO)
Boozman (R-AR)
Burr (R-NC)
Capito (R-WV)
Cassidy (R-LA)
Cochran (R-MS)
Collins (R-ME)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Cotton (R-AR)
Crapo (R-ID)
Daines (R-MT)
Enzi (R-WY)
Ernst (R-IA)
Fischer (R-NE)
Flake (R-AZ)
Gardner (R-CO)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hatch (R-UT)
Heller (R-NV)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johnson (R-WI)
Kirk (R-IL)
Lankford (R-OK)
Lee (R-UT)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Moran (R-KS)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Paul (R-KY)
Perdue (R-GA)
Portman (R-OH)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rounds (R-SD)
Rubio (R-FL)
Sanders (I-VT)
Sasse (R-NE)
Scott (R-SC)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Sullivan (R-AK)
Thune (R-SD)
Tillis (R-NC)
Toomey (R-PA)
Vitter (R-LA)
Wicker (R-MS)

NAY: 44

Bennet (D-CO)
Blumenthal (D-CT)
Booker (D-NJ)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Coons (D-DE)
Corker (R-TN)
Donnelly (D-IN)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Heinrich (D-NM)
Heitkamp (D-ND)
Hirono (D-HI)
Kaine (D-VA)
King (I-ME)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Leahy (D-VT)
Manchin (D-WV)
Markey (D-MA)
McCaskill (D-MO)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Merkley (D-OR)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murphy (D-CT)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Peters (D-MI)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Schatz (D-HI)
Schumer (D-NY)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Tester (D-MT)
Udall (D-NM)
Warner (D-VA)
Warren (D-MA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wyden (D-OR)

Not Voting: 3
Coats (R-IN)
Cruz (R-TX)
Franken (D-MN)

Bernie Sanders Calls for Full Independent Audit of Federal Reserve

2016 Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders wrote an op-ed for The New York Times on Wednesday calling for the Federal Reserve to be audited independently by the Government Accountability Office on an annual basis.

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has scheduled a historic Jan. 12 vote on a bill, colloquially referred to as “Audit the Fed,” which was introduced by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). The bill would authorize the GAO to perform full audits of the Federal Reserve System.

To rein in Wall Street, we should begin by reforming the Federal Reserve, which oversees financial institutions and which uses monetary policy to maintain price stability and full employment. Unfortunately, an institution that was created to serve all Americans has been hijacked by the very bankers it regulates,” wrote Sen. Sanders.

[RELATED: DNC Disciplines Sanders Campaign for Accessing Confidential Clinton Voter Data]

He added, “What went wrong at the Fed? The chief executives of some of the largest banks in America are allowed to serve on its boards. During the Wall Street crisis of 2007, Jamie Dimon, the chief executive and chairman of JPMorgan Chase, served on the New York Fed’s board of directors while his bank received more than $390 billion in financial assistance from the Fed. Next year, four of the 12 presidents at the regional Federal Reserve Banks will be former executives from one firm: Goldman Sachs.

Sanders called for the Glass-Steagall Act to be reinstated, a Depression-era banking regulation that created a wall of separation between consumer and investment banks prior to its repeal by former President Bill Clinton. He also suggested that the Fed should be prevented from providing incentives to encourage banks to sit on cash reserves.

As a condition of receiving financial assistance from the Fed,” said Sanders, “large banks must commit to increasing lending to creditworthy small businesses and consumers, reducing credit card interest rates and fees, and providing help to underwater and struggling homeowners.

[RELATED: Rand Paul Challenges Bernie Sanders To Hour-Long Debate On Socialism vs. Capitalism]

Sanders argued that the Federal Reserve suffers from a lack of transparency. “In 2010, I inserted an amendment in Dodd-Frank to audit the emergency lending by the Fed during the financial crisis. We need to go further and require the Government Accountability Office to conduct a full and independent audit of the Fed each and every year,” he said.

Audit the Fed legislation first became a hot political topic as a result of the sudden, meteoric 2008 rise to popularity of libertarian icon and former Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas), who made the push for Fed transparency a central focus of his entire political career.

The Dodd-Frank amendment that Sen. Sanders is referring to that provided for a limited audit of the Federal Reserve drew strong criticism from Congressman Paul back in 2010, as Paul felt that Sanders had hijacked his momentum for a full audit and replaced it with a more limited, watered-down version. Congressman Paul’s full Audit the Fed legislation had already passed the House prior to Sanders’ push for a tamer audit in the Senate.

In the above-embedded video from 2010, an irate Ron Paul can be seen saying, “I had expected Bernie Sanders to offer S. 604 which is the same as H.R. 1207, which is Audit the Fed bill, and at the last minute he switched it and watered it down and, really, it adds nothing. It’s a possibility that it even makes the current conditions worse… We need to get as many messages as possible to any senator you can think of — especially to Bernie Sanders’ office — that we don’t want this version. We want a true audit of the Fed. We need to know what the Open Market Committee does and we need to know what they’re doing overseas with the agreements with central banks and financial institutions and other governments.

For more election coverage, click here.

Majority Leader McConnell’s Aides Say Senate Will Vote on Ron Paul’s Audit the Fed Bill

Former Congressman Ron Paul’s entire political career was dedicated broadly to promoting freedom and liberty. However, during that time, he also successfully brought the subject of monetary policy to the forefront of American political discourse, exposing the shadowy, private Federal Reserve’s built-in conflicts of interest and urging lawmakers to first audit it and then cancel the bank’s charter. The private bank, which has the power to manipulate the value of the US dollar, has been accused of giving sweetheart deals to insiders, such as the time it allegedly gave a $220 million bailout to the wives of two Morgan Stanley executives. Its original mandate was to keep the US currency supply stable, though the dollar’s value has plunged to a fraction of what it was worth when the Fed took over in 1913 and has swung wildly throughout the past decade, generating record profits for connected Wall Street insiders while families struggle to afford the rising prices of life’s necessities.

Ron Paul launched a legislative push to audit the Federal Reserve in 2009, taking advantage of the rising popularity he began to experience following his 2008 presidential bid. The bill he introduced, formally called the Federal Reserve Transparency Act but colloquially referred to by the title “Audit the Fed,” passed the House twice, but was blocked by Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who refused to let the Senate vote on the proposed legislation. Ron Paul’s bill would allow the Government Accountability Office to review the Federal Reserve’s books and retroactively analyze the decisions it makes pertaining to monetary policy. Due to a grassroots push inspired by Ron Paul, a partial-but-incomplete Fed audit was included in the 2010 Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which exposed the fact that Federal Reserve insiders were given conflict of interest waivers that allowed them to invest in companies that they knew were receiving emergency bailouts.

Now, Republicans have taken control of the Senate, and Senator Mitch McConnell, an Audit the Fed co-sponsor who happens to be a close associate of Ron Paul’s son Senator Rand Paul, has been tapped as majority leader. Stephan Dinan at The Washington Times is reporting that aides at Mitch McConnell’s office are saying that he plans to finally bring the legislation to the Senate floor for a vote now that he has the power to do so. Politico notes that Republican Congressman Thomas Massie of Kentucky intends to re-introduce the bill in the House at the beginning of the 2015 session. Kentucky GOP Senator Rand Paul says he will launch the companion bill in the Senate in January. McConnell has not yet indicated when the bill might face a vote in the Senate.

Though the House is likely to pass Audit the Fed again, the Senate will be a tougher fight, as banking interests, known for funding the high-dollar campaigns of senators needing to win massive, state-wide races, oppose the legislation. In a press conference cited by The Washington Times, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said two weeks ago, “Back in 1978 Congress explicitly passed legislation to ensure that there would be no GAO audits of monetary policy decision-making, namely policy audits. I certainly hope that will continue, and I will try to forcefully make the case for why that’s important.” Opponents of the Fed audit claim that it constitutes Congress meddling in affairs too arcane for it to understand and warn that politicization of monetary policy will have unintended consequences.

Norm Singleton with Ron Paul’s Campaign for Liberty said, “The change in Senate leadership does present us with the best opportunity yet to get a stand-alone vote on ‘Audit the Fed’… This is popular with 75 percent of the American people, but it’s not popular among Wall Street; it’s not popular among banks; it’s not popular among foreign central banks… it’s better odds now than we’ve had before, but it’s not a slam dunk.”

A Senate vote on Audit the Fed will likely pit Ron and Rand Paul’s network of grassroots activists against wealthy banking insiders in a historic battle over the nation’s dollar, with both forces urging senators to pick sides. Senator Rand Paul’s presidential aspirations may also play into the debate, as he can use the platform of his presidential bid to apply additional pressure to promote the Fed audit.

Ron Paul’s Audit the Fed Bill Prevails in the House

Since its establishment in 1913, a growing number of Americans have become suspicious of the Federal Reserve. The private central bank, which has been given control over the nation’s supply of currency, is seen as a shadowy banking cartel that “prints” money and issues it to Wall Street’s wealthiest elites, leaving consumers, senior citizens on fixed incomes, and middle class families to pay for its schemes through inflation and a subsequent loss in buying power. Former Congressman and libertarian icon Ron Paul made auditing and ending the Federal Reserve a centerpiece of his influential career. No other US politician has done more to expose the complicated issue of monetary policy to the general public.

Paul’s quest to take down the Fed reached a climax in 2012, when he led a bipartisan majority in the House of Representatives (327 votes in favor and 98 against) to pass the Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2012, which would have required a full audit of the Federal Reserve if it had passed the Senate. However, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid refused to bring the bill before the Senate for a vote, causing it to die on the vine. Paul’s push led senators to include a partial audit of the Fed in the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which already exposed the fact that the embattled central bank issued conflict of interest waivers to its employees and contractors so that they could invest in companies that were receiving portions of the $16 trillion in bailouts issued by the Fed.

Yesterday, according to Reuters, a revived version of Paul’s bill, re-introduced by Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA), passed the House by a vote of 333 to 92, a stronger majority than the first time it passed. The Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2013 (H.R. 25), as it is called, now faces a steep hurdle in the Senate, where Harry Reid will likely attempt to prevent senators from voting on it. The Senate version, S. 209, was introduced by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and has 30 cosponsors.

If the bill were to become law, it would require that the Federal Reserve Board and the 12 Federal Reserve Banks submit to a full audit by the Government Accountability Office within 12 months. A report to Congress would be due within 90 days of the audit’s completion. It would also repeal limitations that prevent Congress from overseeing Fed decisions related to monetary policy and require the GAO to examine the Fed’s response to the foreclosure crisis back in 2009 and 2010.

In the above-embedded video, Rep. Paul Broun argues in favor of the bill to audit the Fed, saying, “Over the century since its inception in 1913, the Federal Reserve has controlled our nation’s monetary policy and, therefore, our economy under a veil of secrecy. Throughout these last 100 years, Congress has only exercised a relatively small degree of oversight of the Federal Reserve. This lack of accountability has led to grievous consequences, and this must end.”

106 Democrats and one Republican, Rep. John Campbell, voted against the bill. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) took to the floor to argue against the Federal Reserve Transparency Act. Critics of the audit the Fed movement allege that such oversight and transparency could lead to a politicization of monetary policy.

The Campaign for Liberty, an organization started by Ron Paul, is calling for citizens to contact their senators in a push to pressure Harry Reid, who claimed to support an audit of the Fed earlier in his political career, to bring S. 209 before the Senate for a vote.

Senator Ted Cruz: “Audit The Fed”

Cruz9
Screenshot of Senator Cruz’s Facebook Page

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has been leading the charge in the US Senate to garner support for a full audit of the Federal Reserve. In fact, Paul has threatened to filibuster the Senate confirmation of Federal Reserve Chairman nominee Janet Yellen unless he gets a vote on his bill to audit the Federal Reserve.

Yellen says no way to a Federal Reserve audit.

Paul and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) have latched arms on many occasion, and the two are now teaming up for a strong push to audit the Federal Reserve. Cruz took to his Senate Facebook page to make the announcement. Typical of the new blood in the US Senate, he used a hashtag. #AuditTheFed, Cruz wrote while announcing his teaming up with Paul.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Cruz is on board. “I agree with Rand Paul,” wrote Cruz in a statement Wednesday. “We need to bring transparency to the Fed, so the American people can understand the scope and consequences of its policies.”

The legislation would not only allow for a full audit of the Federal Reserve, but also fully eliminate the current restrictions on auditing the private bank. The Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2013 currently has 27 co-sponsors in the US Senate. These sponsors include Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) & Senator Marc Begich (D-Alaska).

Follow Michael Lotfi On Twitter: @MichaelLotfi