NTU urges all Representatives to vote “YES” on H.R. 459, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act, giving the Government Accountability Office (GAO) the authority to conduct regular, comprehensive examinations of the Federal Reserve.
A one-time GAO investigation last year revealed that the Federal Reserve churned through some $16 trillion of various long- and short-term transactions with U.S. and foreign entities between late 2007 and mid-2010, in an attempt to stop a financial meltdown. That was the most comprehensive examination of the Fed’s activities since the central bank was founded in 1913. Given the immense power the Fed holds over U.S. monetary policy and the economy, there’s still too little Congressional oversight and few details into exactly how and why the money changes hands.
Americans have every right to ask questions about how the Fed enables, or even contributes to, the growing size and scope of government. By monetizing our debt, the Federal Reserve has become a means through which Congress has been able to pursue its out-of-control spending, leading to the accumulation of giant deficits. Supposedly this is part of the Fed’s ongoing efforts to bolster the economy, but like so many other policies, this can have negative consequences for our recovery. In many cases, the Federal Reserve has either failed to detect or made problems worse in the financial sector. By propping up the housing market and “too big to fail” banks, the Fed may have made matters worse for the economy, creating both market uncertainty and opportunities for crony capitalism.
For almost 100 years, the Federal Reserve has functioned with wide latitude from elected officials, but it has become increasingly controversial. Its power over the nation’s purse strings can, if not properly checked and balanced, be wielded to dish out political favors through bailouts and loans, driving us deeper in debt.
It’s time to bring some much needed transparency to the Federal Reserve; taxpayers deserve to know more about the way their central bank operates.
All roll call votes on H.R. 459 will be included in our annual Rating of Congress.If you have any questions, please contact NTU Federal Affairs Manager Nan Swift at (703) 683-5700