The House of Representatives has passed H.R. 459, legislation removing some of the restrictions on how the Government Accountability Office (GAO) can audit the Federal Reserve and instructing the GAO to complete a one-time, full audit within the next 12 months. Congressman Westmoreland has been a long-time supporter of the GAO completing a full audit of the Federal Reserve, was a cosponsor of the bill, and supported this legislation.
"It's about time," stated Westmoreland. "The Federal Reserve should be held accountable to the American people and until we are able to complete a full audit of their actions, that won't happen. Since the financial crisis in 2008, the Fed has tripled its balance sheet to $3 trillion. That is equal to 20 percent of the nation's economy. With that kind of control, Congress needs to look into exactly what decisions are being made and how they are being made."
Congress has constitutional authority of the nation's money, but delegated its day-to-day control to the Federal Reserve. However, under current law, it is prohibited to look into how the Federal Reserve manages that money. H.R. 459 would remove four restrictions regarding what the GAO can audit -- including transactions for or with foreign central banks, governments, and international organizations, as well as decisions on monetary policy -- allowing for a complete audit of the Fed.
"This bill would enact a few small changes that would allow for a complete look at the Federal Reserve," stated Westmoreland. "I don't understand how anyone could have a problem with us making what goes on at a federal agency more transparent. I'd also like to take this opportunity to congratulate my colleague Congressman Ron Paul. He has fought longer and harder than anyone I know for this legislation and I'm glad to see it has passed the House in his final year in Congress."
The bill passed with wide bipartisan support. Similar legislation in previous Congresses has garnered bipartisan support as well. However, it is unclear whether the Senate will act on the bill. Congressman Westmoreland strongly encourages Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to allow the bill to come to the Senate floor for a clean up-or-down vote as soon as possible.