U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield (KY-01), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power, today joined the majority in the House of Representatives in voting to require a full auditing of the Federal Reserve by passing H.R. 459, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2012, of which Rep. Whitfield is a co-sponsor.
"The Federal Reserve's monetary policy decisions affect every American, and it should be held accountable to Congress and the American people," Whitfield said. "Congress has constitutional authority over the nation's money, which it has delegated to the Fed, but Congress is prohibited under current law from looking into how the Fed manages that delegated authority. With this bill, Congress will have auditing authority of the Fed."
H.R. 459 will lift four restrictions on Government Accountability Office (GAO) audits of the Federal Reserve which pertain to monetary policy, allowing for a full audit of the Fed.
Currently the GAO cannot audit:
1. Transactions for or with foreign central banks, governments, and international organizations (e.g. IMF).
2. Deliberations, decisions, or actions on monetary policy matters.
3. Transactions made under the direction of the Federal Open Market Committee.
4. Discussions or communications of the Fed related to items 1-3.
The bill also requires a one-time audit to be completed by GAO and a report submitted to Congress within 12 months of enactment. Additional audits can be performed in the future without restrictions on what GAO can examine.
Authored by Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), the legislation passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 327-98.