House passes Audit the Fed

Though a day later than expected, the House of Representatives yesterday afternoon overwhelmingly passed Rep. Ron Paul’s Audit the Fed bill (H.R.459), which would open the Federal Reserve to transparency so Americans can see how the central bank is making policy decisions:

The House of Representatives on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved the Texas Republican’s bill to increase the transparency of the Federal Reserve. With bipartisan support, the measure passed 327-98. One Republican, Rep. Bob Turner of New York, joined 97 Democrats in voting against it.
Paul’s bill came to the floor Wednesday with 270 co-sponsors. The measure also received support from his fellow Republican presidential candidates during the primaries. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, most recently voiced his approval for Paul’s efforts last week.

“Ron Paul’s ‘Audit The Fed’ bill is a reminder of his tireless efforts to promote sound money and a more transparent Federal Reserve,” Romney posted on Twitter.

You can view the roll call vote here.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has criticized the bill, claiming that it would be a nightmare scenario for the Federal Reserve. Bernanke said last week during a House Financial Services Committee hearing that Audit the Fed would politicize the Federal Reserve and would lead to Congress creating monetary policy. Other commentators, such as Simone Foxman at Business Insider, have made similar misleading and outright false claims.

Unfortunately, it’s not likely that the Senate will bring up Audit the Fed for a vote. Within minutes of the bill passing the House, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) effectively killed the bill, vowing not to bring it up for a vote.

This is a curious position for Reid. Back in 1995, Sen. Reid spoke passionately and convincingly about auditing the Federal Reserve. In floor speech, Reid said, “I think we should audit the Federal Reserve — it’s taxpayer’s money that’s being used there.” He made a compelling point, noting that “[t]here is no entity in the world that controls our lives more than the Federal Reserve System.”

Here’s the video:

FreedomWorks is making a hard push for the bill by urging members of its grassroots movement to call Sen. Reid’s office to demand a vote on Audit the Fed. Whatever happens, Rep. Paul can claim a victory here, which has been rare during his time in the House. Let’s just hope that Reid gets the message.

And in case you missed it, here’s Rep. Paul’s short floor speech on Audit the Fed shortly before the House passed the bill:

And another video from Bloomberg after the Audit the Fed was passed, where Rep. Paul set the record straight on some of the charges by opponents of his bill:

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