The Obama administration now says it supports a proposal to audit the Federal Reserve's lending practices that has won broad bipartisan backing in the Senate.
Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin said last-minute changes to an amendment before the Senate would ensure that the Federal Reserve's monetary policy authority would not be compromised by an audit.
The audit has been pushed by a bipartisan coalition led by independent Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont. The audit by Congress' investigative arm, the Government Accountability Office, would examine bank lending by the Fed before and after the 2008 financial crisis.
Earlier in the day, Wolin said the administration feared an audit would intrude on the Fed's independence.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A top Treasury official says the Obama administration opposes a proposal to audit the Federal Reserve, a plan that has bipartisan Senate support.
Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin said an amendment to a pending financial regulation bill could encroach on the independence of the central bank. The amendment's sponsor, independent Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont, has criticized the Fed for secrecy in its assistance of banks.
The Fed sets interest rates that have broad economic consequences. The House financial regulations bill also requires an audit by the Government Accountability Office.
Wolin predicted that a Republican proposal to dilute the power of a proposed consumer protection entity would be defeated.
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