January 27, 2016

Crapo Backs Legislation To Audit the Federal Reserve

Washington, D.C.-Idaho Senator Mike Crapo is again pushing to bring greater transparency to the Federal Reserve. Crapo, a senior member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, joined Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) today to introduce legislation to audit the nation's central bank, which is explicitly charged with regulating the U.S. monetary and financial system.  The Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2015 would require the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct a full examination of the Federal Reserve's actions, including its monetary policy decisions. 

Though highly controversial, the Federal Reserve began using unconventional monetary policy tools five years ago, aggressively pursuing quantitative easing and holding interest rates near or at zero percent.  Crapo, who has been a long-time critic of quantitative easing, has repeatedly voiced concerns regarding the Fed's oversized role in the U.S. economy and called for increased accountability from the nation's central bank. 

"The American people deserve a transparent, full audit of the Federal Reserve," said Crapo.  "The Fed now has a staggering balance sheet of over $4 trillion, a level roughly equal to one-quarter of annual U.S. economic output.  The unconventional policies pursued by the Fed have failed to produce the benefits that were promised while dangerously risking inflation.  Congress must provide meaningful oversight and consider ways to improve monetary policy that would limit the Fed's ability to actively manipulate markets."

"A complete and thorough audit of the Fed will finally allow the American people to know exactly how their money is being spent by Washington. The Fed currently operates under a cloak of secrecy and it has gone on for too long. The American people have a right to know what the Federal Reserve is doing with our nation's money supply. The time to act is now," Sen. Paul said.

For the full text of the legislation, click here.