Paul Broun

Paul Broun introduces Audit the Fed

Federal Reserve

Ron Paul may no longer be in Congress, but other conservative members are stepping up to carry issues he pushed in the past. On Facebook yesterday, Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) announced that he reintroduced legislation to audit the Federal Reserve:

Today I reintroduced H.R. 24, the “Audit the Fed” legislation originally authored and championed by former Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX). My plan is to pick up right where Congressman Paul left off. Our economy is far from recovering, and the recent fears regarding the potential impacts of the ‘fiscal cliff’ and its aftermath prove that the American people must continue to demand transparency from the entity charged with ensuring stable economic and monetary policy.

You can read the official statement from Rep. Broun’s office here.

The legislation will open up certain information to the Government Accountability Office excluded from audits in subsection (b) of 31 USC 714, including agreements and transactions with foreign central banks and discussions between the Treasury Department.

The House overwhelmingly passed the Audit the Fed bill last year. Unfortunately, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) refused to bring it to the floor for a vote, despite his past support of more transparency of the Federal Reserve.

The Case Against Saxby Chambliss


Over the last six years, I’ve been watching Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) very closely. Back in 2008, Chambliss faced a tough challenge in a three-way, finding himself in a runoff against Jim Martin, a liberal Democrat.

Part of the problem was campaign organization. Insider Advantage quoted an unidentified Republican who said that Chambliss and company had the organization of a “bad state House race,” calling it a “embarrassing campaign.” There was also the perception of Chambliss among Georgia Republicans. Insider Advantage again quoted a unidentified Republican who said, “Saxby’s reputation is that he’s spent six years in Washington playing golf. He’s gone on lots of trips. He hasn’t done the down-and-dirty constituent work.”

“Saxby bragged about it his first four years – how much golf he was getting in. It was a real problem and it irked a lot of people,” said the unnamed Republican source. Many Republicans in the state were less than thrilled with Chambliss, who hadn’t been able to endear himself to the state party the way Sen. Johnny Isakson had.

Another issue that hurt Chambliss was that he had lost the support of many fiscal conservatives in Georgia because of his votes that put taxpayers at risk.

Who are the spending cutters?

We’ve recently noted that House Republicans have largely been a disappointment when it comes to cutting spending. Since taking control of the chamber in January 2011, the national debt has increased by over $1.59 trillion and reasonable amendments to bills that would cut spending have been shot down with many Republicans opting not to keep the promise they made to voters in the fall campaign. There is also talk of bringing back earmarks, an untransparent process that is often corrupt.

So why are the spending cutters in the House? The Club for Growth has tracked the 25 votes on amendments that would cut spending and found the consistent budget hawks in the lower chamber (I’m only posting those that score 100%, for sake of space):

House Republicans should get behind the OPTION Act

As you can imagine, there has been a lot of discussion about Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year. And while the budget would, if passed, repeal ObamaCare, it doesn’t replace it. This, along with other aspects of the proposal, has been a sticking point for many conservatives.

On Tuesday, Rep. Ryan said that he didn’t include a replacement for ObamaCare, for which costs have doubled, in his budget because there is no consensus amongst House Republicans as to what their model for health care reform should be.

Given all of the problems with ObamaCare, many of which were laid out in an op-ed at the Wall Street Journal by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), proposing such a comprehensive budget proposal without at least some foundation of replacement proposals is odd. It’s even more odd when the budget was unveiled during the second anniversary of the health care reform law and the week before it’s due to come before the Supreme Court.

However, Rep. Paul Broun, MD (R-GA) has introduced the OPTION Act (H.R. 4224), a patient-centered health care reform replacement. According to Broun’s office, the OPTION Act would repeal and replace ObamaCare with a reform package that would protect the interests of patients:

“Audit the Fed” is back, but it will take renewed pressure from conservatives to pass.

Federal Reserve

Kentucky Congressman Thomas Massie will be the new standard bearer for “Audit the Fed,” a bill that was initially sponsored by former Congressman and Presidential candidate Ron Paul and has passed the House a number of times but stalled in the Senate under the leadership of outgoing Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Reid indicated support in the past for an audit of the Federal Reserve.

Most recently, outgoing Georgia Congressman Paul Broun sponsored a version of the bill, which passed the House overwhelmingly (333-92) in September of this year. After its most recent passage, Congressman Broun said:

For the past 100 years, the Federal Reserve, a quasi-government agency, has acted under a veil of secrecy – controlling our monetary policy and thus, our economy. While in recent years, the Fed has been granted a greater role in overseeing the regulation of our financial system, current law specifically prohibits audits of the Federal Reserve’s deliberations, decisions, or actions on monetary policy. This lack of accountability and transparency has led to grievous consequences - and it must end.

United Liberty called for support of a renewed effort in the new Republican-controlled Senate earlier this month.

POLITICO reports:

House members are pushing Kevin McCarthy to bring up the Ron Paul-backed Audit the Fed bill for a vote

Twenty-two members of the House of Representatives have sent a letter urging incoming Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to bring up the Federal Reserve Transparency Act (H.R. 24) for an up or down vote.

The letter was authored by Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA), who introduced the “Audit the Fed” bill in January 2013 after Ron Paul (R-TX) left Congress, and signed by members of both parties, including Reps. Justin Amash (R-MI), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Jack Kingston (R-GA), and James Sensenbrenner (R-WI).

“We believe that H.R. 24 is not only one of the most important pieces of legislation pending in this Congress, but that is is also highly likely to pass the House with a strong bipartisan vote,” the House members wrote to McCarthy. “We sincerely hope that you will give H.R. 24 the priority it deserves as you begin your tenure as the House Majority Leader.”

The Federal Reserve Transparency Act, which now has 228 cosponsors, 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.

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.

Audit the Fed bill nearing majority support in the House

The Federal Reserve Transparency Act (H.R. 24) is just a handful of cosponsors away from a majority of the House of Representatives, though the measure remains stalled in the committee with jurisdiction.

The Audit the Fed cause was picked up by Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) after Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) retired. The Georgia Republican introduced the measure on the first day of the 113th Congress with just five cosponsors. By the end of January 2013, another 97 members had added their names to the bill.

Since that time, however, the total number of cosponsors has more than doubled. The Audit the Fed bill now has 204 cosponsors* (186 Republicans and 18 Democrats), just 14 away from a majority of the chamber.

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.

Hurdles obviously remain. The measure has not yet been reported out of the House Financial Services Committee, though its chairman, Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), expressed support for the measure in the past. He isn’t a cosponsor.

Today in Liberty: Keystone XL dealt a blow, Obamacare alternative endorsed by FreedomWorks, Thomas Sowell on Ted Cruz

“Many unions have contracts with employers that are based on a multiple of the prevailing minimum wage. If the minimum wage goes up, union salaries go up by a similar percentage.” — Neal Boortz

— Keystone XL hits a road block not named Obama: The Lancaster County District Court has shot down a 2012 state law that would have sped up the regulatory process to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. “TransCanada now must secure approval for the pipeline route from the state’s utility regulators — a step the 2012 Nebraska law sought to circumvent,” notes Zack Colman of the Washington Examiner. “Judge Stephanie Stacy said [Gov. Dave] Heineman’s move to approve the revised pipeline plan, as the law allowed, was unconstitutional because it wrested control of oil pipeline decisions from the state regulatory body, the Nebraska Public Service Commission. As such, Stacy ruled the law null and void.”

GA Senate: Questionable poll shows Dem leading GOP candidates

Barack Obama and Michelle Nunn

A new poll out of Georgia shows Michelle Nunn, the likely Democratic nominee, leads each of the four top Republican contenders in a Senate race that could decide control of the chamber this fall.

Conducted by Public Policy Polling on behalf of Americans United for Change, a leftist organization, the poll found Nunn leading Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA), 42/41, and Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA), 45/41.

Nunn, the daughter for former Sen. Sam Nunn (D-GA), also leads former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel, 44/40, and Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA), 44/42. The poll has a 3.9% margin of error.

Democrats have been keen on Nunn’s chances. She’s running in the center on most issues, including Obamacare, hoping that the political landscape in Georgia has changed enough put her in the Senate.

On the surface, the poll seems like good news for Nunn, who has been endorsed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). But the party ID breakdown is questionable. Public Policy Polling surmises that Democrats and Republicans will each compromise 38% of Georgia voters. That’s probably not an accurate picture of the state’s electorate, at least for Democrats.

Todd Rehm, a Georgia-based political consultant, estimates that Republicans compromise around 35% of the electorate, while Democrats represent a little less than 31%. The remaining 34% are independents.

The views and opinions expressed by individual authors are not necessarily those of other authors, advertisers, developers or editors at United Liberty.