Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) announced on March 5 that he will introduce his “Audit the Fed” legislation, which would permit a full audit of the Federal Reserve System, as an amendment to the Senate Banking Bill. The Senate is expected to vote on the Banking Bill, S. 2155 - officially known as the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act— this week.
“While we have made great strides in reviving our economy through curbing overzealous regulation and cutting taxes, lasting prosperity will escape us if we do not hold the enabler of big government and our astronomical national debt accountable. It’s time for the Senate to side with the American people by removing the shackles on congressional oversight and lifting the Fed’s veil of secrecy. It’s time for us to pass Audit the Fed,” Paul said in his press release.
Passage of the Federal Reserve Transparency Act (S. 16), commonly referred to as Audit the Fed legislation, would require the nonpartisan, independent Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct a thorough audit of the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors and reserve banks within one year of the bill’s passage and to report back to Congress within 90 days of completing the audit.
Paul remains steadfast in his commitment to this legislation that he and his father, former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), worked for years to pass, with the intent to stop the Federal Reserve’s “unchecked” and “arguably unconstitutional” meddling in the free market economy.
Senator Paul’s 2016 Federal Reserve Transparency Act received nearly unanimous Republican support, in addition to support from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI). Ultimately, the bill fell short of the required 60 votes for cloture after Senate Democrats leadership shot it down.
In January 2017, Paul reintroduced the Federal Reserve Transparency Act (S. 16), widely known as “Audit the Fed”. Appearing on Fox New with Tucker Carlson on February 7th, Paul explained why it is important for Congress to scrutinize the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy.
“The main lobby against auditing the Fed is the Fed,” Paul said. When Carlson asked what the major arguments against auditing the Federal Reserve would be, Paul cautioned:
“Some see that the Fed pays for this enormous debt and they love big government, and they know we have to have big debt for big government, and they have to pay for it, so they don’t want to mess with the Fed because right now it is able to accommodate this enormous debt.”
“The reason I want oversight is people get hurt in the downturn,” Paul continued.
“So in 2008, when the housing market went bust, I blamed that on the Federal Reserve. We’re right in the middle of another boom. Anybody seen the stock market lately? It is a boom, just like the real estate boom of 2008, and it will come to an end. I wish I knew exactly when, so I could give your viewers some investment advice, but it will end. There will be a correction.
We have a huge bubble in the stock market created by easy money, free money, everybody has it. Free money! Federal Reserve will hand you bouquets of money. But there will be repercussions, and that will be the downturn. There will be a response or reaction to all of this extra money.”
On the prospect of Trump signing the legislation if it were to make it through Congress, Paul said, “We’ve talked about Audit the Fed before and the fact that he supported it during his campaign. I think he will sign Audit the Fed if we can get it to him. The hardest part that we have to overcome is the institution of the Fed itself. The biggest lobbyist on Capitol Hill against auditing the Fed is the Fed.”
“I think it always has a chance of passing, but the hardest part is actually getting a vote on things,” Paul told Reason in an interview. “You never know unless you try.”