When Paul first introduced his bill a decade ago, it was written off as another piece of his far-flung libertarian worldview is how Politico juxtaposes today's (now successful) vote on Ron Paul's Fed Transparency Bill. "I want to appreciate and congratulate Dr. Ron Paul for his tireless pursuit of openness and transparency," said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah). "Without his leadership, we wouldn’t be at this point today." Via Bloomberg:
- *FED AUDIT BILL OPPOSED BY BERNANKE GAINS APPROVAL BY U.S. HOUSE
- *FED AUDIT BILL NEEDS SENATE APPROVAL, PRESIDENT'S SIGNATURE
- *FED AUDIT BILL SPONSORED BY REPRESENTATIVE RON PAUL OF TEXAS
The House passed H.R. 459, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2012, in a 327-98 vote. twitter.com/GOPLeader/stat…
— Eric Cantor (@GOPLeader) July 25, 2012
“I’m pleased. It’s something I’ve worked on for a long time, and it’s a good first step,” Paul told POLITICO. “It’s coming to the floor as a response to the American people, because I don’t have a whole lot of clout around here.”
Paul really doesn’t want this bill to be treated as his swan song in Congress, but to some extent this vote represents a coda to an eccentric congressional career. Paul’s movement has always been stronger outside the Capitol than inside it, yet the fact that at least one of his ideas is starting to break through shows that he may still have some clout on the national stage, even if he’s leaving the congressional payroll and ditching his presidential runs.
And even though a return to the gold standard, legalization of drugs and abolishing the Federal Reserve remain pipe dreams, Paul believes the traction on his Audit the Fed bill does validate his grass-roots, populist approach to monetary policy.
“I like to think of it more as verifying that my approach is a little bit different than just becoming a powerful player and having an influence, versus really changing people’s minds,” he said. “Events have also brought it about because these last five years have been so important to the economy. If the crisis hadn’t hit, I don’t think I could have gotten as much attention.
“Government reflects the people, sometimes that happens slowly,” he said. “When the American people get upset, Congress listens.”
and some useful comments from the opposers of the bill...
Never mind that the Fed audit is dead in the Senate — Majority Leader Harry Reid’s office has said he won’t bring it up.
There are still many Democrats who aren’t convinced, like Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.). “There is an audit of the Fed done every year. It’s not what Dr. Paul prefers, but I think the public has been misled in believing there’s no accountability. That’s not accurate,” Cleaver said. “I do think there are times when members will vote for something they don’t normally like as a tribute to members that are departing. Some of that may happen.”
And Hoyer said no matter how many Democrats are co-sponsors, he still thinks the bill is bad policy — and he’s urging Democrats not to support it.
“Whatever the motivation is, and however broad the sponsorship is, my own view is that it’s bad policy,” Hoyer told reporters on Wednesday. “It will undermine the independence of the Federal Reserve and will, therefore, undermine the competence in the Federal Reserve, which plays a significant role in stabilizing the economy and addressing the creation of jobs.”
and the full roll-call...