Federal Reserve Transparency Act
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The Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2015 (H
The original version of the bill, (H
The bill was subsequently brought up again in the 112th United States Congress as (H
According to its short title, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009 (H
The Federal Reserve states that "the financial statements of the Federal Reserve Banks and the Board of Governors are audited annually by an independent outside auditor." The bill's sponsor, Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX), countered by stating that the present audit process exempts the Fed's "most crucial activities".
Representative Paul introduced the bill to the U.S. House of Representatives of the 111th Congress on February 26, 2009, at which point it was referred to the Committee on Financial Services. Its 11 original cosponsors were Neil Abercrombie (D-HI), Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD), Paul Broun (R-GA), Dan Burton (R-IN), Walter B. Jones (R-NC), Steve Kagen (D-WI), Ted Poe (R-TX), Bill Posey (R-FL), Denny Rehberg (R-MT), and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA).
He immediately promoted the bill at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on February 27. Paul charges the Federal Open Market Committee with being "less than transparent" with its secret meetings. In an April 2009 editorial, Paul thanked the Fed for its responsive attempt to enhance transparency and accountability, but called it "window dressing at best, and it's utterly useless at worst".
As the 111th Congress drew to its close in December 2010, H
Amendment to Financial Stability Improvement Act of 2009 (HR 3996)
On November 19, 2009, the Committee on Financial Services approved the Paul-Grayson amendment to the Financial Stability Improvement Act of 2009 (H
Frank declined to vote for the final amendment after proposed changes made by fellow Democrat Melvin Watt representing North Carolina's 12th congressional district, which encompasses most of Bank of America hometown Charlotte, were stripped out in favor of the amendment's original language by the amendment proposed by Paul and Grayson. Watt's proposed version included provisions that allowed audits of the Fed's balance sheet, but not for the monetary policy. Ryan Grim, a contributor for the left-leaning news blog The Huffington Post suggested Watt's amendment was an attempt to create less transparency than before at the Federal Reserve.
Passage by the House
The Financial Stability Improvement Act was combined, along with several other bills from the same committee, into The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009 - Financial Stability Improvement Act of 2009 (H
|This article's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information. (May 2013)|
On March 16, 2009, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced the Senate companion version, S
Senate Amendment 1367
On July 6, 2009, U.S. Senator Jim DeMint attempted to amend HR 2918, the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act by adding the entire text of S
The two titles for these two versions of the bill are not to be confused with the same two titles (used in reverse) for the two versions of a related bill. The House "Federal Reserve Sunshine Act of 2009" by Paul (H
Senator Judd Gregg called the Paul-Grayson amendment "pandering to populism", saying the audit requirements would be detrimental to monetary policy. Gregg added that "It's great PR; you go home and beat up the Fed." 
"I strongly oppose Audit the Fed," said Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen, saying that it would "bring short-term political pressures to bear" on the central bank and dissuade it from making the "hard choices" needed to curb inflation. The central bank's chair, in opposing the idea, said it would "politicize monetary policy."
Support for the Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009 was one of the issues raised as part of the nationwide 2009 Tea Party protests. During an episode of the Glenn Beck program which broadcast April 15 from a rally at the Alamo in San Antonio, Pat Gray interviewed a local supporter of the Transparency Act, drawing cheers from the crowd.
Support for the bill has also come from those on the left outside of Congress. In a letter to Chairman Barney Frank of the House Financial Services Committee, Ranking Member Spencer Bachus and its members, several progressives such as bloggers Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake, Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism, "Tyler Durden" of Zero Hedge, author Naomi Klein, labor leaders President Richard Trumka of the AFL-CIO, the SEIU's President Andy Stern, the United Steelworkers's President Leo Gerard, economists Dean Baker, James K. Galbraith, Rob Johnson, and professors William K. Black, Thomas Ferguson, and L. Randall Wray, pushed for passage of the bill and against the adoption of the amendment proposed by Rep. Watt.
The advocacy group Campaign for Liberty (CFL) encourages members to petition representatives to cosponsor the Transparency Act. College Republicans at Appalachian State University, staged a Boston Tea Party themed assembly for tax day 2009, to raise awareness for the Transparency Act; the event included wearing white wristbands to symbolize slavery and mailing tea bags to state representatives. CFL president John Tate promotes the bill in conjunction with dealing with "the silent, destructive tax of monetary inflation", this thought was echoed in the Kansas City Star. Ron Paul, Andrew Napolitano, and state representative Jim Guest promoted the bill "at length" at the crowded first CFL regional conference in St. Louis, Missouri (March 27–29), affirming Americans' "right to know where their tax dollars are going, especially those going to companies from the stimulus package". Pro-gambling group Gambling911.com is also interested in the Transparency Act, as an opportunity to audit the Federal Reserve, and also promoted the CFL "Freedom Celebration" regional conference.
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- H.R. 24:Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2015, Govtrack.us
- H.R. 1207:Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009, Govtrack.us