By: Chairman Matt Pinnell
With the terrible GDP numbers and Obama's "you didn't build that" gaffe, many missed the House passage of one of the most important pieces of legislation in years. Last Wednesday, the House approved Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul’s “Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2012″ by a wide margin in a 327-98 vote.
This legislation would allow the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct a full audit of the Federal Reserve--the unelected central bank of the U.S.--and report its findings within 12 months. Under current policy, the GAO is unable to audit Fed activities related to monetary policy matters or transactions for or with foreign central banks, governments, and international organizations. That means it has never been completely transparent and accountable to Congress since its creation in 1913.
Congressman Tom Cole, who voted for the bill, had this to say about the legislation: "For far too long the Federal Reserve has operated under a veil of secrecy and without proper oversight. This government agency has enormous influence over the nation's economy and over the finances of every single American. Greater scrutiny and transparency are appropriate to guard against excessive intervention in our monetary policy. This bill reasserts congressional oversight and will help shine the light of day on an agency that has become too accustomed to operating in the shadows."
That's the good news. The bad news? Two words: Harry Reid
In 2010 and 1995, Reid boasted that he had tried to pass legislation to audit the Fed. The Nevada senator, however, is now refusing to bring the bill to a floor vote.
The 2012 Senate bill is sponsored by Ron Paul’s son, rising Republican star Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul, and is co-sponsored by 23 Republicans.
Ron Paul has fought for this audit during his time in Congress and on the campaign trail during his Presidential bids. No one has brought more national, and international, attention to this issue. With Ron Paul not seeking re-election, the least Reid could do is allow a floor debate.
Finally, the audit has never been more needed. During the current economic crisis, Congress, the Treasury, and the Fed have put us on the hook for over $14 trillion in bailouts and loans. This is in addition to our over $16 trillion national debt. That's simply too much cash to operate in the shadows. It's past time for Congress to shine a light on it. Tell Congress to not let Reid blow it out!