Tags: Paul | Yellen | Fed | nomination

Rand Paul Threatens Yellen Nomination to Push Vote on Audit Bill

Image: Rand Paul Threatens Yellen Nomination to Push Vote on Audit Bill

Wednesday, 30 Oct 2013 09:43 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Sen. Rand Paul plans to block Janet Yellen's nomination as head of the Federal Reserve unless a vote is taken on a bill first championed by his father, former Rep. Ron Paul, to increase the central bank's transparency.

The Kentucky Republican had said he would seek a hold on the nomination, and on Tuesday made it official with a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Paul told Politico he doesn't "think technically you can file a hold until she comes out of committee, but we're putting people on notice that we will."

In his letter, Paul told Reid "there is no more appropriate time to provide Congress with additional oversight and scrutiny of the actions and decisions of the central bank" than during Yellen's confirmation.

He asked that a Senate vote on his own Federal Reserve Transparency Act be scheduled concurrently with Yellen's nomination.

His father's bill passed the House on July 25, 2012, but has been stalled in the Senate for nearly three years, Paul said in the letter.

Fox Business Network reported that a source close to the senator said his bill, which requires more audits of the central bank, has 25 co-sponsors, including one Democrat.

Before Paul's threat, the Senate Banking Committee was to take up Yellen's nomination on Nov. 14, followed by what was expected to be an easy confirmation vote on the Senate floor. She was nominated earlier this month by President Barack Obama to replace outgoing Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, whose term expires Jan. 31.

Paul's bill is opposed by Bernanke and other Federal Reserve officials, who believe it would interfere with the central bank's independence from government and political influence. Most Democrats also oppose the measure, calling Paul's threat to hold up Yellen's nomination a publicity stunt.

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