Ron Paul-backed Audit the Fed bill hits majority support in the House

Federal Reserve

The Federal Reserve Transparency Act (H.R. 24) has picked momentum in the House of Representatives, now boasting support from 218 members, both Republicans and Democrats alike, a crucial mark for the measure’s proponents.

Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), who did not seek reelection in 2012, had made Federal Reserve oversight and transparency a pet cause during his congressional career and presidential campaigns. The “Audit the Fed” bill was picked up by Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) after Paul left Congress.

Broun, a candidate for U.S. Senate in Georgia, reintroduced the measure on the first day of the 113th Congress with just five cosponsors. By the beginning of April, 204 members had added their names to the bill. Fourteen members signed onto the measure this week, bringing the total number of cosponsors to 218.

“I am pleased to see such wide support for Audit the Fed, and I hope the House moves quickly to pass this important piece of legislation,” Ron Paul said in a statement from Campaign for Liberty, an organization he founded that has continued to push the Audit the Fed bill.

The Federal Reserve Transparency Act would require the central bank to open certain information to the Government Accountability Office currently excluded from audits in subsection (b) of 31 USC 714. This would include the Federal Reserve’s agreements and transactions with foreign central banks and discussions between the Treasury Department.

The House passed the Audit the Fed measure, then-sponsored by Paul, in July 2012 by an overwhelming margin. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), however, refused to bring the legislation up for a vote, despite expressing support for the measure as recently as 2010.

Despite the clear support for the Audit the Fed bill, the House Financial Services Committee has not held a hearing on the measure. Broun could introduce a discharge petition — a letter with signatures from 218 members — to bypass the committee and bring the measure to the floor for a vote.

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