Sen. Rand Paul is reviving his push to audit the Federal Reserve.
The Kentucky Republican and presumptive 2016 presidential candidate said he wants to bring several of the Fed’s monetary activities under congressional oversight.
In a statement released Monday, Paul said it was time to end the secrecy behind the Fed. He believes an audit is the best way to do it.
“[An] audit of the Fed will finally allow the American people to know exactly how their money is being spent by Washington.” Paul said.
He slammed the Fed’s current operating practices, saying it works “under a cloak of secrecy and it has gone on for too long.”
Paul concluded that “the American people have a right to know what the Federal Reserve is doing with our nation’s money supply.”
Calls for a Fed audit increased after the 2008 financial crisis. The ensuing collapse in the housing market and financial industry sparked an ongoing effort to bring more sunlight to the agency.
Norbert Michel, a research fellow in financial regulations at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal he agreed with the senator.
“There is no justification for secrecy,” Michel said. “They should have a full policy audit and the Federal Open Market Committee’s full transcript, not just the minutes, should be released.”
Although the main goal of Paul’s legislation is to have a full audit of the Fed, completed within six months, there are several other reforms he’d like to implement. They include eliminating restrictions on the Government Accountability Office’s ability to conduct oversight and giving Congress oversight of Fed policies like quantitative easing.
The bill has already gained popularity in the Republican caucus with 30 co-sponsors, including Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., potential presidential rivals in 2016.
“The Fed has expanded its balance sheet fivefold, yet economic growth is still tepid, businesses are sitting on cash, and median income and household wealth are depressed,” Cruz noted in a statement.
Cruz also slammed the Fed for its secrecy.
“Enough is enough,” Cruz said. “The Federal Reserve needs to fully open its books so Congress and the American people can see what has been going on. This is a crucial first step to getting back to a more stable dollar and a healthy economy for the long term.”