Senator Rand Paul and Reparative Thomas Massie introduce Audit the FED bills in both Houses of Congress.
Controversial legislation to subject the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy powers to outside scrutiny is getting new life in Washington.
Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) have re-introduced legislation to “Audit the Fed,” after a similar effort stalled in the last Congress.
But such a proposal, which has been vocally opposed by Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen, may face its best odds ever of becoming law. Both chambers are controlled by Republicans long critical of the Fed’s policies, and President-elect Donald Trump has heaped scorn on the central bank since the beginning of his presidential campaign.
Paul specifically mentioned Trump in a statement about the bill Wednesday, making clear the measure’s proponents believe they have an ally in their cause coming to the White House.
“The U.S. House has responded to the American people by passing Audit the Fed multiple times, and President-elect Trump has stated his support for an audit. Let’s send him the bill this Congress,” said Paul.
Under the bill, the Fed’s monetary policy deliberations could be subject to outside review by the Government Accountability Office.
Proponents of the measure argue that the Fed is too powerful and lacks sufficient oversight for its interest rate decisions. But Fed officials from Yellen on down, as well as other critics, have warned that such a policy could subject the Fed to undue political pressure and discourage it from taking unpopular steps for the good of the overall economy.
The proposal has garnered some bipartisan support and has passed the House several times in past Congresses.
But the measure has typically stalled in the Senate. Senate Democrats refused to bring up the bill for consideration when they controlled the chamber, and senators rejected the bill in 2016 after it was brought up by the new GOP majority.