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Public Statements

Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. CHAFFETZ. I thank the chairman.

I also want to appreciate and congratulate Dr. Ron Paul for his tireless pursuit of this openness and transparency. Without his leadership, we wouldn't be at this point today, and I applaud him and thank him for that.

Some would say that the Fed is already audited, but there are some key points where it is not. These include transactions with foreign central banks, discussion and actions on monetary policy, and transactions made under the direction of the Federal Open Market Committee.

If we are truly about openness and transparency in this Nation, which distinguishes us above and beyond so many others, we deserve and need to know this information.

We need also understand the imperative that is before us because the Federal Reserve balance sheet has exploded in recent years. In fact, since 2008, it has literally tripled. It's gone from $908 billion on its balance sheet to over $2.8 trillion, nearly a 33 percent annualized increase since January 2008.

The Federal Reserve ownership of Treasuries has also increased substantially in recent years, having more than doubled from January of 2008 to January of 2012, where it went from $741 billion to $1.66 trillion.

Let's understand also that in fiscal year 2011, the Federal Reserve purchased 76 percent of new Treasuries. Certainly the American people and this Congress deserves more openness, transparency, and at the very least an audit. I encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this commonsense piece of legislation, and again congratulate Dr. Paul, and continue to hope for his pursuit of this issue.

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