Senator Sanders’ Amendment To Audit The Fed Passed Unanimously 96-0



In  a rare show of complete bipartisanship, the Senate today voted unanimously,  96-0, to approve an audit of the Federal Reserve.  The audit would be limited to Federal Reserve activity that took place from the beginning of the financial crisis in December of 2007 until the time the law is enacted. In addition, the Fed would be required to disclose the recipients of the more than $2 trillion dollars in emergency aid funding since that time. The list of recipients will be available on the Fed’s website beginning on December 1st 2010. The GAO will also look into whether or not there were any conflicts of interest involved in any of these financial deals granted during the review time period.

Today’s vote was on an amendment, proposed by Senator Bernard Sanders,  to the larger financial reform bill currently being worked on by both houses of Congress.  Originally, the measure had stronger language that would have required an on-going audit of the Fed, but faced with bipartisan opposition in the Senate as well as opposition from the White House and from Federal Reserve Chairman Bernake himself, the scope of the audit was scaled back to a one time occurrence.  In addition, the names of the recipients of the two trillion dollar emergency aid would not have to be published on the Fed’s website until December 1, 2010 instead of within 30 days of its enactment.

While this is good news, it is important to remember that this vote was only on an amendment to the larger financial reform bill, which is still has a long way to go before it passes, after which, it must be signed by President Obama in order to become law.

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