Congresswoman Niki Tsongas released the following statement today after supporting H.R. 459, a bill that would provide for an audit of the Federal Reserve System by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and would report the findings of the audit to Congress. Provisions from this legislation were included in H.R.4173, the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009, which was signed into law by the President on July 21, 2010. H.R. 459 passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 327 -- 98.
"The unnerving reports that in 2007, the world's biggest banks were manipulating LIBOR, and were, in fact, given incentives to fraudulently misreport without any real consequences indicates to me that we still have serious challenges in regulating the financial services industry.
"This legislation expands on reforms included in the Wall Street Reform legislation in order to further ensure the integrity of the Federal Reserve which has been called into question due to the LIBOR scandal. I strongly believe that we must ensure the independence of the Fed, and that this institution cannot be subject to short-term political pressures in order to do its job effectively. However, in light of this current interest-rate manipulation scandal, we also must be able to hold both the financial services industry and its regulators, including the Fed, accountable."