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Will We Finally Get a Vote on Audit in the Fed in the Senate?

Last week, Republicans won control over the Senate in the mid-term elections. I’m personally glad that Harry Reid is no longer Senate Majority Leader but I’m still skeptical on whether Republican leadership will be serious about cutting spending. I hope that they prove me wrong.

However, one thing that I am excited about is a possible vote on auditing the Federal Reserve in the Senate.

The GOP-led House overwhelmingly passed bills to audit the Fed in 2012 and 2014. Back in September, it passed with a bipartisan vote of 333-92. Yet, it was basically dead on arrival in the Senate.

For reasons unconfirmed, Harry Reid refused to allow a vote on the bill—even though, he cosponsored audit legislation in the 1990’s. The Senate companion bill, introduced by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), has 31 cosponsors but never even made it out of committee.

With Harry Reid no longer in charge, we’re far more likely to get a vote on audit the Fed.

Expected incoming Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been outspoken in his support for auditing the Fed:

“The Fed’s activities during the financial crisis were unprecedented, and I support an audit because taxpayers deserve to know what powerful government agencies, even the independent ones, are doing in their name.”

He is also a cosponsor of Rand Paul’s Federal Reserve Transparency Act. He spoke highly of the bill in 2013:

“The Fed has never been audited and I think, you know, transparency is important. And there’s a number of Senate Democrats who maybe don’t want it to come up but wouldn’t want to vote against it if it did. So Rand Paul and I are both going to be looking for ways to get that voted on in the Senate.”

Let’s hope that the Senate will finally vote on Audit the Fed in the upcoming session without any changes to the legislation that could water it down. While it won't solve all of our monetary problems, an audit would be a good step in the right direction to increase transparency at the central bank. I’d like to see a true Audit the Fed bill land on Obama’s desk and see how he reacts.