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Wednesday
Jul252012

House Passes Ron Paul's Bill to Audit Federal Reserve

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In a bipartisan vote, the House of Representatives today passed a bill to require a full audit of the Federal Reserve by the end of the year, examining its monetary policy decisions over the Fed’s management of trillions of taxpayer dollars.

Texas Congressman Ron Paul, the author of the bill, called the vote “a good first step” and urged the Senate to follow the House’s lead.

“It has been a long, hard fight, but Congress finally is getting serious about exercising its oversight responsibility over the Federal Reserve,” Paul, R-Texas, said after the vote. “Auditing the Fed is a common sense issue supported by the overwhelming majority of the American people.  The Fed’s trillions of dollars worth of asset purchases and its ongoing support of foreign central banks cannot be allowed to continue without Congressional oversight.”

The vote passed 327-98, successfully achieving a two-thirds majority. Eighty-nine Democrats, nearly half of the caucus, voted with nearly all Republicans in support of the measure. One Republican, Rep. Mike Turner of New York, voted with 97 Democrats in opposition.

“The Federal Reserve lent out $16 trillion dollars during the financial crisis—that is larger than the entire U.S. economy, or worse, our staggering federal debt. Congress holds the purse, but is currently prohibited from looking into where all this money went,” Kansas Republican Rep. Lynn Jenkins, a co-sponsor of the bill, wrote in a statement. “It’s our responsibility to understand how the Fed manages these funds, particularly when it comes to monetary policy. Monetary policy affects every single American through inflation and changes in interest rates, both of which can have a direct impact on economic growth and unemployment.”

While some Democrats warned that the legislation could politicize decisions at the non-partisan Federal Reserve, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, called the vote a “milestone for those of us who have worked for years to demand transparency and accountability.” He urged the Democrat-controlled Senate to quickly pass the bill, although Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has indicated he does not intend to bring the bill to the Senate floor for consideration.

“Despite mismanagement and secrecy which has benefited the world’s largest banks at the expense of the people, today the House of Representatives finally called for a thorough accounting of the Fed,” Kucinich said. “As more and more Americans learn about the Fed’s shadowy actions, the Senate will find it impossible to stand in the way of the demands of the American people. Transparency and accountability are coming to the Federal Reserve. After today’s vote, it’s only a matter of time.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio