Friday, November 20, 2009

Senator Vows to Block Removal of Fed’s Audit Shield

Senator Vows to Block Removal of Fed’s Audit Shield; Bloomberg

A U.S. senator said he would seek to block any legislation containing a measure to remove the Federal Reserve’s shield from congressional audits of the central bank’s interest-rate decisions.

The House Financial Services Committee yesterday advanced a proposal requiring audits of the Fed that was introduced by Representative Ron Paul, a Republican from Texas. Senator Judd Gregg, a New Hampshire Republican and Banking Committee member, said in an interview today that the measure “would do fundamental damage to the strength of our financial structure as a nation.”

“I would not vote for any bill and I would filibuster any bill that had this language in it,” Gregg said, referring to the legislative delaying tactic that requires 60 Senate votes to break.

Gregg’s comments indicate that legislation similar to Paul’s bill, which has more than 300 House co-sponsors, would face resistance in the Senate. That would help the Fed, which opposes the bill on the grounds that it could reduce the central bank’s independence in setting interest rates. ...

Gregg, 62, who was elected in 1992 and plans to retire from the Senate next year, attributed the Paul legislation’s success to “populist fervor” and lawmakers “pandering” to the public.

Comment: I'm not sure how much damage can be done that hasn't already been done in the last two years.

Who is Mr. Gregg beholden to; the voters in New Hampshire, the US Constitution - might I even throw in there, his conscience - or special interest?

Ron Paul's legislation is anything but "populist;" it's constitutional!

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