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U.S. House hearings are scheduled to start a week from now on a proposal from U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, to audit the Federal Reserve, which oversees U.S. monetary policy, and the congressman believes the plan actually could become law this time.
Paul, who has sponsored similar legislation on and off since the 1980s, during this Congress for the first time is seeing significant support for the idea of looking into the actions of the decision-makers who set interest rates and take myriad other actions that affect Americans’ financial well-being.
The Federal Reserve, an independent organization apart from the U.S. government, largely has operated behind a veil of secrecy for decades, but Paul told WND today that its operations could be about to face the light of day.
“We have 289 cosponsors for the bill, including 111 Democrats and all of the Republicans, so we’re doing well,” he told WND. “It’s been referred to the financial services committee, and [Chairman Rep.] Barney Frank said he’s willing to move it along.”
Frank was the one who scheduled hearings on the proposal to start Sept. 25.
According to a schedule posted on the website of the committee, “Oversight and Audit Issues at the Federal Reserve” will be discussed on that day.
Paul long has been a critic of the secrecy of the Federal Reserve.
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“Throughout its nearly 100-year history, the Federal Reserve has presided over the near-complete destruction of the United States dollar,” he said earlier. “Since 1913, the dollar has lost over 95 percent of its purchasing power, aided and abetted by the Federal Reserve’s loose monetary policy.”
He said the recent economic circumstances are helping generate support, and there are a multitude of questions that eventually could be answered.
For example, who made the decision to help Goldman Sachs and let Lehman Brothers fail? Was there a personal agenda? Who decided how much money to give General Motors? What about the money deals the Federal Reserve cuts with other nations? Who are the beneficiaries?
The Fed has “more money than Congress,” Paul said, citing the need to uncover the “international shenanigans, deals with other central banks, as well as financial institutions and corporations.”
“There’s going to be a lot of yelling and screaming before this is over,” he said.
“In the last year, I am sure they have been very much involved in the gold market,” he said.
Federal Reserve officials, meanwhile, are “fighting tooth and nail” against releasing any information sought under several lawsuits already in the court systems, he said.
WND recently reported that the Fed, despite being ordered to disclose to whom it awarded some $2 trillion in discount “stimulus” loans, continues its fight for secrecy.
When a U.S. district court judge rejected the Fed’s argument that the names of borrowers are exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act and ordered the board to release the information, the board appealed.
Revealing that information, the secret organization argued, could lead to a backlash from bank customers and stockholders.
“What has the Fed got to hide?” asked Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in an e-mail about the case. “The time has come for the Fed to stop stonewalling and hand this information over to the public.”
“They don’t want anybody to bother them. I don’t think they want us to know,” Paul told WND.
“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.”
Frank only weeks ago told Fox News that the Fed probably is heading for “a complete audit.”
He said the bill would reveal to the public what the organization buys or sells.
Paul said his legislation, because of its majority support, could be brought up as a separate plan but then might have more hurdles in the Senate and could even face a veto from President Obama.
He said a more logical scenario is including it in a package of proposals now being developed to correct problems revealed in the recent economic downturn that would include a variety of other consumer protections.