By Joe Wright
GOP presidential candidate Rand Paul was able to persuade Bernie Sanders and 51 additional senators to vote in favor of auditing the central bank of the United States – The Federal Reserve. The final vote was 53 for the audit versus 44 against the “Audit The Fed” bill.
Despite the Senate majority vote, it was not enough to pass the bill because Democrats filibustered the effort.
The Associated Press reports:
The Senate on Tuesday blocked legislation calling for tougher audits of the Federal Reserve, rebuffing an attempt by Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul to give lawmakers greater oversight of the central bank’s moves on interest rates.
The 53-44 vote fell short of the threshold to overcome a Democratic filibuster. But the Kentucky Republican, who is seeking the GOP’s nomination for president, was joined by independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president who occupies the opposite end of the political spectrum from Paul.
The measure calls for the Government Accountability Office, a watchdog agency for Congress, to scrutinize the Fed’s monetary policy and offer recommendations to lawmakers on ways to address any perceived problems.
Congress, the White House and Treasury officials have traditionally been careful to steer clear of questioning the Fed’s independence to set policy, and current law blocks the GAO from reviewing the way the agency conducts monetary policy or reviewing internal deliberations.
“Nowhere else but in Washington, D.C., would you find an institution with so much unchecked power,” Paul said.
Sanders was one of the only lawmakers to report the shocking findings of that first-ever audit of the Fed:
The first top-to-bottom audit of the Federal Reserve uncovered eye-popping new details about how the U.S. provided a whopping $16 trillion in secret loans to bail out American and foreign banks and businesses during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. An amendment by Sen. Bernie Sanders to the Wall Street reform law passed one year ago this week directed the Government Accountability Office to conduct the study. “As a result of this audit, we now know that the Federal Reserve provided more than $16 trillion in total financial assistance to some of the largest financial institutions and corporations in the United States and throughout the world,” said Sanders. “This is a clear case of socialism for the rich and rugged, you’re-on-your-own individualism for everyone else.”
Among the investigation’s key findings is that the Fed unilaterally provided trillions of dollars in financial assistance to foreign banks and corporations from South Korea to Scotland, according to the GAO report. “No agency of the United States government should be allowed to bailout a foreign bank or corporation without the direct approval of Congress and the president,” Sanders said.
Although a new audit of the bank would have provided more transparency and accountability, it still had no authority to fix the problem that prompted the audit in the first place.
“The Federal Reserve has the ability to create new money and spend it on whatever financial assets it wants, whenever it wants, while giving the new money to whichever banks it wants,” Paul said. “Low-income workers do not get the luxury of receiving the Fed’s newly created money first, nor do they do have the luxury of receiving the near-zero interest rates that the wealthy do.”
More and more people are becoming aware of the real problem of fractional reserve central banking. Yet it seems the solution will not come from politics. Perhaps it will come from Bitcoin?