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Friday, November 1, 2013

Ending secrecy at the Federal Reserve -- By Sen. Rand Paul, The Washington Times

The Washington Times A government audit must precede the confirmation of a new chairman

In 1995, Sen. Harry Reid took to the Senate floor and exclaimed, "For years, I have sponsored legislation that would call for an audit of the Federal Reserve system. I offer that amendment every year, and every year the legislation gets nowhere. I think it would be interesting to know about the Federal Reserve. I think we should audit the Federal Reserve."

I can relate to the frustration that Mr. Reid must have felt in 1995. For three years, we have asked Mr. Reid, now the Senate majority leader, for a vote on the Federal Reserve Transparency Act, or "Audit the Fed," but the Senate has not addressed it.

This bill currently has 27 co-sponsors in the Senate, including members from both political parties, and companion legislation introduced in the House of Representatives earlier this year currently has more than 100 co-sponsors. It passed in the House with a vote of 327 to 98 on July 25, 2012.

It is Congress' job to monitor how the Federal Reserve operates. For years, Congress has abdicated this duty by allowing the Fed to operate free of rules, without any accountability.

The Federal Reserve might be the most secretive institution in our nation's history. For decades, Fed officials, politicians and various "experts" have insisted that such secrecy was integral to its independence and, therefore, its effectiveness.

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