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Audit the Fed Passes in 96-0 Bipartisan Landslide

Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) Audit the Fed amendment to Sen. Chris Dodd’s (D-Conn.) financial regulatory reform bill just passed the Senate in a bipartisan landslide, 96-0 — with every Senator present on board with the populist amendment. The Sanders amendment requires the Government Accountability Office to audit most of the Federal Reserve’s books since Sept. 2008 by Dec. 2010.

Speaking just before the vote, Sanders said that people now “recognize the immense power of the Fed, and people are demanding transparency of the Fed.” He said that when “leaders of largest financial institutions in the country sit down with the Fed…lo and behold programs are developed that benefit those same financial institutions!” — that the Fed’s emergency lending programs, enacted unilaterally, were the driving force behind the amendment.

He also promised: “This is not the end. This is the beginning. We are beginning to lift the veil of secrecy on what is perhaps the most important agency in the United States government.”

The Senate has not voted on Sen. David Vitter’s (R-La.) amendment adding Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) and Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-Texas) language for continual audits of the Fed. The Sanders amendment does require the Fed to disclose future emergency lending programs.

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