Monday, May 19, 2014

Senator Paul to Delay Confirmation of Fed Nominees Until Airing of Legislation Placing Fed Securities Purchases Under Congressional Oversight

In a letter to Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) vowed to delay the conformation of three nominees to the Federal Reserve Board until floor action is taken on legislation to provide congressional oversight of the Fed in the central bank’s securities purchases and other areas. In the letter, Senator Paul formally objects to floor consideration of the pending nominations of Stanley Fischer (who is slated to be Vice Chair of the Fed), Treasury senior official Lael Brainard, and current Fed Governor Jerome Powell for a full term, without also considering legislation to bring much-needed transparency to the Fed.

The Senator requests that his bi-partisan Federal Reserve Transparency Act, S. 209, be scheduled for an up or down vote concurrently with nominees to the Fed. The measure would place the Fed's credit facilities, securities purchases, and quantitative easing activities under Congressional oversight. The bill would also eliminate all restrictions placed on Government Accountability Office (GAO) audits of the Federal Reserve.

Senator Paul noted that similar legislation passed the House by a vote of 327-98, with bipartisan support, on July 25, 2012. This same bill has been stalled in the Senate for more than three years, he said.