Sen. Elizabeth Warren has come out against a bill sponsored by Sen. Rand Paul to require the Federal Reserve to submit to detailed annual audits by Congress, a move that could kill the bill this year, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Massachusetts Democrat Warren, who has pilloried the Federal Reserve for bailing out big banks while neglecting ordinary workers, said that Paul's "Audit the Fed" legislation
goes too far, the Journal reported on Tuesday.
"I strongly support and continue to press for greater congressional oversight of the Fed’s regulatory and supervisory responsibilities," Warren said in an emailed statement.
"But I oppose the current version of this bill because it promotes congressional meddling in the Fed’s monetary policy decisions, which risks politicizing those decisions," she said.
On the question of Paul's bill, Warren effectively sided with the monetary policy makers and interest-rate arbiters she once accused
of being "more worried about protecting Wall Street than protecting Main Street."
Warren's opposition might deter other Democrats and keep the bill from advancing, even with Republicans now in the Senate majority, because under current Senate rules some Democratic support is necessary to get the bill to the floor for a full debate, the Journal reports.
Paul, the Kentucky Republican who shares his famous father's libertarian dislike
of the central bank, is touting his bill to audiences
well beyond his home state as he considers running for president.
"Anybody here want to audit the Fed?" Paul said to a crowd in Iowa on Friday, Bloomberg reports. "Anybody feel that the Fed’s out to get us? They’re all over the TV! They’re going to be out there saying, ‘Oh, we can’t audit the Fed.’ What, are they too big to audited? To secret to be audited?”
are indeed lining up to criticize the bill.
Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker said it would lead to "high-frequency harassment of our decision-making process," the Journal reports,
"Who in their right mind would ask the Congress of the United States — who can’t cobble together a fiscal policy — to assume control of monetary policy?" Richard Fisher, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, asked, The Hill reports.
Forbes writer John Tammy hit back, writing in defense of the bill that "fairly explicit in Fisher’s question is that the Fed is in fact is staffed by competent types; a rather debatable presumption."
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