Reid: I’d Have a 'Serious Conversation' with Bernanke Before Considering Fed Audit

Christopher Goins | December 6, 2012 | 3:30pm EST
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Washington ( – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he would have to have a “real serious conversation” with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke before he considers bringing the Federal Reserve Transparency Act to the Senate Floor.

On July 25, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2012 (HR 459), also commonly known as the “Audit the Fed” bill sponsored by retiring Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), in a 327-98 vote and has been received in the Senate. The Senate version of the bill, S.202, is stuck in the Senate.

On Thursday, asked Reid: “This past July the House overwhelmingly passed the Federal Reserve Transparency Act. You were once strongly in favor of auditing the Federal Reserve. You said, 'There is no entity in the world that controls our lives more than the Federal Reserve System.'

"Do you still feel the same way about the Federal Reserve System? And will you ever bring up the Senate Version of the Audit the Fed bill to the Senate Floor?”

Reid said, “Well, some of you may remember that I said the biggest political hack in Washington was Alan Greenspan. I thought that his tenure at the Federal Reserve was very, very bad. I voted against his confirmation on more than one occasion. And so my frustration came out of my problems I had with Alan Greenspan.”

The Nevada Senator said if there’s a proposal that he’d be “happy to take a look at it.”

“But I think Bernanke has done a good a job as – Greenspan did a bad job. And so I have great respect for Chairman Bernanke and before I would vote on this again I would have a real serious conservation with him,” Reid continued.

The bill in question, S.202, does not propose the same kind of audit as Senator Reid once desired.

S.202, sponsored by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), would require the Federal Reserve System to disclose its monetary policy decisions and agreements with foreign central banks and governments—decisions currently untouched by the audits that the GAO currently conducts.

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky (AP Photo/David Kohl)


As previously reported , Reid was once a strong supporter of auditing the Federal Reserve System - in 1995. Then being discussed was then-Senator Bryon Dorgan’s (D-N.D.) amendment that would have required the Federal Reserve to a prepare a report to Congress and disclose the financial impact of changing interest rates on the public and private sector.

In 1995 Reid went into great detail about how the Federal Reserve wasn’t talked about enough, how it not only affects the federal government because of the money it borrows but also the private sector because “higher interest rates effect everybody,” and how he’s called for an audit of the Federal Reserve System and offered “that amendment every year.”

“Every year the legislation gets nowhere,” Reid said in 1995. “I think it would be interesting to know about the Federal Reserve. I think we should audit the Federal Reserve.”



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