Congressman confident that watered down bill for one time audit passed by Senate can be strengthened in committee
Paul Joseph Watson
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
While many are expressing disappointment and even despair that the Senate voted down Ron Paul’s audit the Fed bill while passing a weakened version, Congressman Alan Grayson is confident that the stronger provisions of the original House amendment can be added in Committee, ensuring the Federal Reserve doesn’t get off the hook, as Congressman Paul has warned.
The Senate last night voted 96-0 in favor of a compromise amendment that requires the GAO to conduct a one time audit of the Federal Reserve that will focus on which financial institutions received over $2 trillion dollars in bailout funds during the peak of the economic crisis.
However, the Senate voted down 37-62 Senator David Vitter’s audit the Fed amendment, which mirrored Ron Paul’s version that was passed by Congress. The stronger version would have ensured ongoing congressional audits and would have severely hampered the Fed’s ability to continue its credit swap program which has seen billions of U.S. dollars sent to foreign banks.
Congressman Paul has dismissed the watered down version as a placebo amendment that lets the Fed off the hook, noting with suspicion how it was enthusiastically supported by the Obama administration.
“If they’re all supporting it, I would be very suspicious that the Fed is quite aware of this and they’re satisfied with this and maybe they think they’re getting off the hook,” Paul said in a recent interview.
However, Congressman Alan Grayson, who has been a vehement supporter of Ron Paul’s efforts to properly audit the Fed, believes that the one time audit is an important step towards full transparency.
Grayson is confident that a one time audit would expose the Fed’s arguments for secrecy as a ruse, leading to greater pressure to enact regular audits. He believes that the stronger provisions of the Ron Paul version can be merged into the bill the Senate passed last night.
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“The Senate audit provision isn’t as strong as what we passed in the House,” writes Grayson, adding, “The Senate provision has only a one-time audit, whereas what we passed in the House would allow audits going forward. There will be a conference committee that will merge the provisions from the two bills….So we will be fighting on to get a full audit from the conference committee.”
“No longer can Ben Bernanke get away with saying, “I don’t know.” Now, we’re going to know who got what, and why,” writes Grayson, referring to his confrontations with Bernanke in which he demanded to get answers on where the bailout money had gone.
Grayson says the one time audit represents significant progress given the overwhelming opposition to Fed transparency just months ago.
“Let’s not lose sight of what we have accomplished so far – real independent inquiry into the Fed, and its incestuous relationships with Wall Street banks. For the first time ever,” writes Grayson.
“Our calls, emails, lobbying, blogging, and support really mattered. We made it happen. Today, we beat the Fed,” he concludes.
It remains to be seen whether Grayson can help piggy back the stronger provisions onto the watered down amendment, but as it stands, the version passed by the Senate will at least crank the door ajar on Fed secrecy. But some fear that door could once again be slammed shut subsequent to a whitewash and a limited audit.
During a speech on the House floor last night, Congressman Ron Paul reacted to the failure of the stronger version of the bill by imploring full transparency in light of the Fed’s decision to restart loans to foreign banks and governments, which is heaping more future misery on American taxpayers and threatening the long term survival of the U.S. dollar.
Watch the clip below.
This article was posted: Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 4:53 am