As noted on Monday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) sold out on his amendment to Audit the Fed, opting for version that doesn’t audit monetary policy. It was passed without opposition by the Senate yesterday.
As Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) pointed out in his weekly Texas Straight Talk column, there is some good to the Sanders amendment, but it wasn’t enough:
[A]greements with foreign central banks are not touched by the new Sanders Amendment language. At a time when Greece, Portugal, Spain and other countries are experiencing dire financial crises and have their hands out to the international community, we need to know if our Federal Reserve is at all involved in bailing them out. As weary as we are of bailing out companies, the American people would not stand for bailing out entire countries. Our government is wasteful enough in its own affairs without contributing to the waste of other countries. Yet the Fed currently has the tools it needs to do just this, and to do it in secret.
If we cannot take away the Fed’s ability to waste trillions of taxpayer dollars on failing companies and failing countries, at the very least, we can take away their ability to do this with no transparency or accountability to the American people. While the Sanders Amendment no longer contains a full audit, Senator David Vitter has introduced an amendment which contains the Audit the Fed language that passed the House last fall. The Senate must pass the Vitter amendment for full disclosure and full accountability going forward.
Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) carried the version that was passed by the House, which was sponsored by Rep. Paul, only to see it shot down by a vote of 37 to 62.
Over at Red State, Erick Erickson is accusing Republican leadership of refusing to support the Vitter amendment as retribution against conservative activists for Sen. Bob Bennett’s loss this past weekend in Utah:
Proving they are a petulant bunch, the Senate Republicans today threw up their collective middle finger at conservative activists.
David Vitter’s amendment to the Financial Deform package would have required an actual audit of the Federal Reserve. The amendment was heavily lobbied for by conservative activists across the country.
in fact, so popular was Vitter’s amendment that even Senator Bob Benentt declared on Saturday in Utah that he too would support auditing the Federal Reserve.
Vitter’s amendment died. Bob Bennett voted against it. Senate Republican Leader and Bennett best friend forever Mitch McConnell also voted against it. Jon Kyl of Arizona did too.
Erick may be right, but even if the GOP had come out entirely for the Vitter amendment, there were still short on votes. Nevertheless, Congress will once again be screwing taxpayers over by not providing with them transparency as to what the Federal Reserve has done to our economy.