Rand Paul Pushes To Audit Federal Reserve

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is once again calling on Congress to pass a bill to audit the Federal Reserve. In an article published January 25th, Paul writes about the Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2024. It is the first piece of legislation he plans on presenting to Congress this year.

If the bill is passed, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) will be required to complete a full audit of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Reserve banks. The information in this audit will then be provided to Congress.

Paul has been petitioning for audits of the Federal Reserve since 2011 and has called for more transparency in the government generally as well. Paul is particularly critical of overly long “omnibus” legislation, often calling attention to the absurd lengths of bills presented to Congress. The Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2024 is notably quite short, less than 600 words total.

So far, Paul’s efforts towards an audit have been unsuccessful. His bills have failed to pass in previous years, but the numbers have been close. In 2016, the motion to audit the Fed failed 53-44, falling only seven votes short of the necessary 60 supporters.

Paul has plenty of support among the republican party. This year’s bill is cosponsored by Sen. Todd Young (R-IN), Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN), Sen. Jim Risch (R-ID), Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Sen. Roger Marshall (R-KS), Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL)

Paul has previously garnered support across party lines as well, with legislators such as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) voting in favor of Paul’s 2016 bill.

While the Federal Reserve is subject to some oversight, such as reviews from the GAO, its monetary policy discussions have been exempt from GAO audits since 1978. Fed officials are wary of such an audit, claiming that it could hurt their credibility and create more market volatility.

Paul, however, aptly points out that an audit of the Federal Reserve would be a crucial first step towards government transparency, allowing the American people to more clearly see where their tax dollars are headed.

A deeper look into how the Federal Reserve manages our national finances could give America a stronger understanding of the current economy in these times of inflation and financial hardship.

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