Yesterday was a victory for what Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) described as a “Waterloo for Fed secrecy.”
In a bipartisan vote of 43-26, the House Financial Services Committee voted in favor of an amendment to audit the Federal Reserve — something that hasn’t been done since the bank’s inception nearly 100 years ago.
Grayson cosponsored the bill with Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) who has been introducing similar legislation since 1983. The amendment is based off of Paul’s “audit the Fed” bill, H.R. 1207, which has 300 cosponsors.
According to a press release, the proposed amendment does the following:
- Removes the blanket restrictions on GAO audits of the Fed
- Allows audit of every item on the Fed’s balance sheet, all credit facilities, all securities purchase programs, etc.
- Retains limited audit exemption on unreleased transcripts and minutes
- Sets 180-day time lag before details of Fed’s market actions may be released
- States that nothing in the amendment shall be construed as interference in or dictation of monetary policy by Congress or the GAO
For too long, the Federal Reserve has been acting in secret — dishing out billions as it sees fit to whom it sees fit. The Paul-Grayson amendment, if passed, will give a look into the books of the private banking institution.