Tag Archives: Audit the Fed

Why we need to audit the Fed

Tom Woods, the Senior Fellow at Ludwig von Mises Institute, testifies in the Federal Reserve Oversight Hearing before the House Financial Services Committee on why we need to audit the Fed. As the well-known author put it:

“If you’ve done nothing wrong, you’ve got nothing to worry about.”

Why We Should “Give A Crap” About the Audit The Fed Bill

Texas Congressman Ron Paul has won probably the biggest political victory of his three tenures in the House of Representatives with the passage of HR 459. The bill would allow the GAO to do a full audit of the Federal Reserve System, otherwise known as the Central Bank of the United States.

Paul believes the Fed should be audited because of how much cash it churns out and the fact interest rates have stayed low.

He’s long been pushing for this, but the calls grew louder after a 2010 New York Times article revealed the Fed had given out over a trillion dollars to a variety of sources during the 2008 crisis. Banks like Barclays and Citigroup, along with businesses like General Motors and Harley Davidson all received money. Even some foreign central banks, including Britain and Japan, received cash in hopes of keeping the market stable. Several businessmen, including an aide to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, all received loans as well.

Without the taxpayers, or Congress, knowing it had been done.

The banks and businesses who received cash were either able to “’take the money and run’ or realize they were being funded by the federal government, instead of their own cash. To quote, of all people, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in1995, “it is taxpayers’ money that is being used.” And the taxpayers had no idea this was being done.

This is extremely troubling and something everyone, not just conservatives and libertarians, should be concerned about.

This isn’t a private company, which can, within reason, do what it wants to with its own money. This is the federal government.

The big question is why people should care about this. For one, it’s your money being used. At a time where the U.S. deficit is 15-trillion dollars and showing no sign of stopping, an audit could show how the books are being kept.

Fed chairman Ben Bernanke, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, may complain this is “politicizing monetary policy,” but I don’t think so. This is the federal government, which should be held accountable by the people.

Peter Schweizert has already detailed how some Congressmen and Senators have used their power to make personal gains from legislation. An audit of the Fed would reveal whether the same thing is being done by either the reserve chair or members of the Federal Open Market Committee.

The solution now is to lobby the U.S. Senate to take action. Which means calling, emailing and writing them. Several times a day if necessary until it comes up for a vote. The legislature is supposed to represent its constituents. Lobbying Senators can show people actually care about an audit being done.

After all, it is your money. And we need to know what it’s being spent on.

How much support did Rep. Paul’s Audit the Fed Bill Get? Check out the Co-sponsors

I’ll keep it brief, but Rep. Ron Paul’s Audit the Fed bill (HR 459) garnered significant bi-partisan co-sponsorship showing that his legislation truly crosses party lines. According to Rep. Paul’s government website, this is the list:


Audit the Fed Cosponsors – 112thCongress   Bold=Original Cosponsor Italics = Democrat
1 Mike Coffman 21 Cathy McMorris Rodgers 41 David McKinley
2 Glenn Thompson  22 Mike Simpson 42 Frank LoBiondo
3 Rodney Alexander 23 Adrian Smith 43 Gary Miller
4 Tom McClintock 24 Doug Lamborn 44 Jeff Miller
5 Gus Bilirakis 25 Lamar Smith 45 C. W. Bill Young
6 Spencer Bachus 26 Denny Rehberg 46 Randy Forbes
7 Jason Chaffetz 27 Sue Myrick 47 Scott Garrett
8 Jeff Fortenberry 28 Buck McKeon 48 Jim Gerlach
9 Steven LaTourette 29 Robert Wittman 49 Louie Gohmert
10 Dan Burton 30 Marsha Blackburn 50 Bill Huizenga
11 Bill Posey 31 Kenny Marchant 51 Blaine Luetkemeyer
12 Walter Jones 32 Elton Gallegly 52 Dennis Kucinich
13 Tom Reed 33 Marcy Kaptur 53 Don Young
14 Paul Broun 34 Lynn Woolsey 54 John Campbell
15 Dean Heller 35 Aaron Schock 55 Tom Petri
16 Joe Barton 36 Michael Burgess 56 Roscoe Bartlett
17 Rob Woodall 37 Dennis Ross 57 Lynn Westmoreland
18 Michael McCaul 38 Ken Calvert 58 David Schweikert
19 Dana Rohrabacher 39 Bill Flores 59 James Lankford
20 Leonard Lance 40 Tom Graves 60 Vern Buchanan
61 Justin Amash 81 Thaddeus McCotter 101 Donald Manzullo
62 John Duncan 82 Joe Wilson 102 Michael Michaud
63 Francisco Canseco 83 Tammy Baldwin 103 Mike Rogers (MI)
64 Scott Rigell 84 Tim Johnson 104 Todd Young
65 Rich Nugent 85 Bob Goodlatte 105 Jared Polis
66 Mick Mulvaney 86 Chris Gibson 106 Joseph Heck
67 John Carter 87 Tom Latham 107 Jaime Herrera Beutler
68 Geoff Davis 88 Tom Marino 108 Virginia Foxx
69 Mike Ross 89 Lee Terry 109 Steve Austria
70 David Dreier 90 Lynn Jenkins 110 Cliff Stearns
71 Stephen Lee Fincher 91 Reid Ribble 111 Judy Biggert
72 Tim Walberg 92 Marlin Stutzman 112 Cynthia Lummis
73 Sandy Adams 93 Kurt Schrader 113 Jeff Flake
74 F. James Sensenbrenner 94 Sam Johnson 114 Blake Farenthold
75 Lou Barletta 95 Andy Harris 115 John Conyers
76 Kay Granger 96 Trey Gowdy 116 Tim Murphy
77 Connie Mack 97 Ander Crenshaw 117 Pete Visclosky
78 Mack Thornberry 98 Peter DeFazio 118 Scott Tipton
79 Jason Altmire 99 Morgan Griffith 119 Robert Schilling
80 Joe Walsh 100 Jack Kingston 120 John Kline
121 Sam Graves 141 Raul Labrador 161 Tom Price
122 Tim Griffin 142 Larry Kissell 162 Jim McGovern
123 Michele Bachmann 143 Mike Rogers (AL) 163 Frank Wolf
124 Steve Austria 144 Tom Cole 164 Zoe Lofgren
125 Randy Neugebauer 145 Todd Rokita 165 Maurice Hinchey
126 John Shimkus 146 Dan Benishek 166 Patrick Meehan
127 Rodney Frelinghuysen 147 Mike Kelly 167 Mike Pompeo
128 Wally Herger 148 Kevin McCarthy 168 Peter Roskam
129 Jeff Duncan 149 Charles Boustany 169 Paul Gosar
130 Todd Platts 150 Bill Shuster 170 Kevin Yoder
131 Frank Guinta 151 Michael Turner 171 Candice Miller
132 John Culberson 152 Steven Rothman 172 Phil Roe
133 Jon Runyan 153 Robert Hurt 173 Sean Duffy
134 Cory Gardner 154 Patrick Tiberi 174 Phil Gingrey
135 John Tierney 155 Randy Hultgren 175 Austin Scott
136 John Yarmuth 156 John Sullivan 176 Steve Womack
137 Pete Stark 157 Todd Akin 177 Tom Rooney
138 Tim Huelskamp 158 Peter Welch 178 Dave Camp
139 Robert Latta 159 Jo Bonner 179 Brett Guthrie
140 David Wu 160 Brian Bilbray 180 Tim Scott
181 Vicky Hartzler 201 Ben Quayle 221 Adam Kinzinger
182 Mike Fitzpatrick 202 Jean Schmidt 222 Howard Coble
183 Kristi Noem 203 Mo Brooks 223 Ralph Hall
184 John Barrow 204 Diane Black 224 Collin Peterson
185 Steve Scalise 205 Rob Bishop 225 Daniel Lungren
186 David Loebsack 206 Fred Upton 226 Daniel Webster
187 Allen West 207 Rick Crawford 227 Bill Johnson
188 Michael Grimm 208 Sanford Bishop 228 Mike Pence
189 Frank Lucas 209 Bill Cassidy 229 Paul Tonko
190 Gene Green 210 Steve Pearce 230 Harold Rogers
191 Greg Walden 211 Dan Lipinski 231 Jo Ann Emerson
192 Chip Cravaak 212 Michael Conoway 232 Charles Fleischmann
193 Jeff Landry 213 Ruben Hinojosa 233 Gregg Harper
194 Jackie Speier 214 Alan Nunnelee 234 Shelley Moore Capito
195 Erik Paulsen 215 John Mica 235 Steve King
196 Mark Amodei 216 Bob Gibbs 236 Leonard Boswell
197 Mary Bono Mack 217 Steve Stivers 237 Charles Dent
198 Rick Berg 218 Charles Bass 238 Ben Chandler
199 Jerry Lewis 219 Jim McDermott 239 Jim Jordan
200 Ted Poe 220 Chris Smith 240 Mario Diaz-Balart
241 John Fleming 261 Ann Marie Buerkle
242 Billy Long 262 Pete Olson
243 Scott DesJarlais 263 Brad Sherman
244 Renee Ellmers 264 Hansen Clarke
245 Ed Whitfield 265 Raul Grijalva
246 Duncan Hunter 266 Larry Bucshon
247 Patrick McHenry 267 Doc Hastings
248 Jeff Dunham 268 Chellie Pengree
249 Trent Franks 269 Shelley Berkley
250 Steven Chabot 270 Adam Schiff
251 Richard Hanna 271 Nan Hayworth
252 Ileana Ros-Lehtinen 272 Ed Royce
253 Jeb Hensarling 273 Steven Palazzo
254 Pete Sessions 274 William Owens
255 Robert Aderholt
256 Jim Renacci
257 Bruce Braley
258 Silvestre Reyes
259 Joe Pitts
260 Lloyd Doggett

*sourced site is a government property making this information public domain

And who were in the small minority (1/3 of House members) that voted no?

Bass (CA)
Brady (PA)
Brown (FL)
Carson (IN)
Castor (FL)
Davis (CA)
Davis (IL)
Frank (MA)
Hastings (FL)
Johnson (GA)
Johnson, E. B.
Larsen (WA)
Larson (CT)
Lee (CA)
Lewis (GA)
Miller (NC)
Miller, George
Price (NC)
Rothman (NJ)
Ryan (OH)
Sánchez, Linda T.
Thompson (MS)
Turner (NY)
Van Hollen
Wasserman Schultz
Wilson (FL)

Harry Reid in 1995: I Think We Should Audit the Fed

Yesterday the House of Representatives  finally voted on, and passed, Ron Paul’s signature legislation the Audit the Fed bill, by a vote of 327-8. The bill had wide bi-partisan support; 89 Democrats joined all but 1 of the House Republicans in voting for the bill.

Despite the broad bi-partisan support the bill has, it will be dead upon arrival at the Senate, because Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has vowed not to bring the bill to a vote.

But apparently, that’s not always how Harry Reid has felt about auditng the federal reserve.

Video from 1995 that has recently surfaced shows that at one time, Harry Reid felt very strongly that the Federal Reserve should be audited:

I have sponsored legislation every year that would call for an audit of the Federal Reserve system. I offer that amendment every year, every year it gets nowhere. I think it would be interesting to know about the Federal Reserve. I think we should audit the Federal Reserve — it‘s taxpayer’s money that’s being used there. But we don’t do that.

Watch Reid’s comments, in their entirety, below: