Senator Rand Paul and Representative Thomas Massie have re-introduced a bill in Congress to audit the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2017 would require that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) “conduct a thorough audit of the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors and reserve banks within one year of the bill’s passage.”
Rep. Massie (R-KY) stated: “It is time to force the Federal Reserve to operate by the same standards of transparency and accountability to the taxpayers that we should demand of all government agencies.” “The American public deserves more insight into the practices of the Federal Reserve… Behind closed doors, the Fed crafts monetary policy that will continue to devalue our currency, slow economic growth, and make life harder for the poor and middle class.”
Legislation to audit the Fed has met with mixed success since the 2008 economic crisis. The House passed similar measures in 2012, 2014 and 2016, all to be defeated in the Senate. The Government Accountability Office, however, did gain some limited oversight powers and performed a one-time audit pursuant to the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform act.