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Senate torpedoes Fed Reserve audit
Posted By -NO AUTHOR- On 07/06/2009 @ 8:54 pm In Front Page | Comments Disabled
Members of the U.S. Senate today rejected a proposal for an audit of the Federal Reserve, the private institution that virtually controls U.S. interest rates, money supply and other economic influences.
The Senate vote against the plan from Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., was among a series of voice votes on a number of amendments to a spending bill that provides money for Congress’ own budget.
According to Roll Call, Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., had wanted the spending bill approved last month, but DeMint had resisted having the spending approved by unanimous consent.
The DeMint plan was to add an amendment to the spending bill that would have provided for an audit of the Fed to include information about its funding facilities, market operations and any agreements with foreign banks and governments, DeMint told senators, according to Reuters.
“The Federal Reserve will create and disburse trillions of dollars in response to our current financial crisis,” DeMint said. “Americans across the nation, regardless of their opinion on the bailout, want to know where the money has gone.
“Allowing the Fed to operate our nation’s monetary system in almost complete secrecy leads to abuse, inflation and a lower quality of life,” he said, according to Retuers.
DeMint also has said he supports a bill that now is pending in the U.S. House that would call for such an audit.
U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas
Paul has said shortly after his proposal reached that “crucial benchmark” that the bipartisan support is an indicator of how American is fed up with secrecy.
“I look forward to this issue receiving greater public exposure,” Paul said.
His bill has support from 245 members of the 435-member House already.
Paul long has opposed the power held by the Federal Reserve and its ability to manipulate the nation’s economy. He has launched multiple proposals to get rid of the private banking powerhouse, without significant support.
But in light of the current economic dowturn – the government takeover of the banking industry, the government’s demands for various auto industry bankruptcies, the government’s appointment of a “pay czar” – change apparently is coming.
“To understand how unwise it is to have the Federal Reserve, one must first understand the magnitude of the privileges they have,” Paul wrote in a recent Straight Talk commentary. “They have been given the power to create money, by the trillions, and to give it to their friends, under any terms they wish, with little or no meaningful oversight or accountability.”
A companion bill to Paul’s also has been introduced in the Senate and was referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.
The Constitution, Paul said, gives Congress, not the private Federal Reserve, “the authority to coin money and regulate the value of the currency.”
Paul explained his advocacy for the H.R. 1207 audit in the U.S. House:
“Throughout its nearly 100-year history, the Federal Reserve has presided over the near-complete destruction of the United States dollar,” the Texas Republican said. “Since 1913 the dollar has lost over 95 percent of its purchasing power, aided and abetted by the Federal Reserve’s loose monetary policy.
“How long will we as a Congress stand idly by while hard-working Americans see their savings eaten away by inflation? Only big-spending politicians and politically favored bankers benefit from inflation,” he said.
Paul called oversight of the Fed “long overdue.”
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“Since its inception, the Federal Reserve has always operated in the shadows, without sufficient scrutiny or oversight of its operations,” he continued.
“The Federal Reserve can enter into agreements with foreign central banks and foreign governments, and the GAO is prohibited from auditing or even seeing these agreements. Why should a government-established agency, whose police force has federal law enforcement powers, and whose notes have legal tender status in this country, be allowed to enter into agreements with foreign powers and foreign banking institutions with no oversight?”
Paul’s bill would also make the Federal Reserve’s funding facilities, including the Primary Dealer Credit Facility, Term Securities Lending Facility, and Term Asset-Backed Securities Lending Facility subject to congressional oversight.
Note: Concerned individuals may contact members of the House Committee of Financial Services in reference to H.R. 1207 and the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs committee in reference to its companion bill, S. 604. They may also contact their respective representatives and senators.
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