Senate Votes in Support of Future Federal Reserve Lending Transparency

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That title sounds weird, but the whole process going on on the Senate floor right now is weird. In the midst of a 50 hour vote-a-thon, the Senate approved an amendment to the budget resolution that supports future legislation to require disclosure of lending by the Federal Reserve, a touchy subject arising out of the bailout lending spree.

Essentially, the budget resolution contains a lot of provisions that say what the Senate will support, one of those sections being about Federal Reserve transparency. It reads:

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Budget may revise the allocations of a committee or committees, aggregates, and other appropriate levels and limits in this resolution for one or more bills, joint resolutions, amendments, motions, or conference reports that increase transparency at the Federal Reserve System, including audits of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal reserve banks and increased public disclosure with respect to the recipients of all loans and other financial assistance it has provided since March 24, 2008, by the amounts provided in such legislation for those purposes, provided that such legislation would not increase the deficit over either the period of the total of fiscal years 2009 through 2014 or the period of the total of fiscal years 2009 through 2019.

What the Senate voted on today, and supported, was an amendment from Sen. Bernie Sanders that added a sentance to the above resolution language stating the Senate’s support for far more specific levels of disclosure. With Sen. Sanders amendment, the language reads as such (emphasis added):

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Budget may revise the allocations of a committee or committees, aggregates, and other appropriate levels and limits in this resolution for one or more bills, joint resolutions, amendments, motions, or conference reports that increase transparency at the Federal Reserve System, including audits of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal reserve banks and increased public disclosure with respect to the recipients of all loans and other financial assistance it has provided since March 24, 2008 including the identity of each entity to which the Board has provided such assistance, the value or amount of that financial assistance, and what that entity is doing with such financial assistance, by the amounts provided in such legislation for those purposes, provided that such legislation would not increase the deficit over either the period of the total of fiscal years 2009 through 2014 or the period of the total of fiscal years 2009 through 2019.

The Associated Press explains the amendment this way:

The amendment by Vermont Independent Bernie Sanders is nonbinding but calls for future legislation to force the Fed to reveal the names of the entities it has lent money to, how much they’ve received and what they are doing with the money.

The vote on this amendment was 59-39 and senators were all over the place in terms of partisan support. (In support: 37 Dems, 21 GOP, 1 Indy. Opposed: 20 GOP, 18 Dem, 1 Indy.) Transparency sometimes forms interesting coalitions.

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  • Who are the major creditors of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? Who else would benefit from omitting Fannie and Freddie from the Democrat Congress’ new Regulatory bill?

  • Eldon H. Thompson

    I totally agree w/Mr. Winters that we should go back to it’s inception and find out who, what, where, and when they provided financial assistance to parties involved in their web. We cannot continue to move forward and not have FEDs be responsible for the way our economy is now and where it’ll be in a few years (more in debt). John Kennedy, like Abe Lincoln knew what was up w/the FEDs and wanted to make a change for the betterment of this country. We must demand our Representatives in Congress to abolish the FEDs altogether and present us w/a positive situation for now and future generations to come.

  • I wonder how much tax fraud they are guilty of, they would hang us all out to dry.!!!! LibbyE

  • I would not call this a victory but it is a beginning. HR1207 and S604 will be the real beginning of End the Fed.

  • Ken

    We can call this course of Action;

    “Independence Day, Version II”

  • Sharon

    I agree as well, a full and independent audit is needed, 96 years without an audit is despicable. An institution supposedly dedicated to our country’s economic stability and yet I fail to see anything but depravity, poverty and war.

  • Shaun

    I agree with Senator Sanders AND with the Bill Winters. Mr Winters has suggested we audit, not just the current and future business of the Federal Reserve, but ALL the historical “business dealings” of the Federal Reserve, since its inception. I AGREE.

  • Bill Winters

    I would add in parenthesis …with respect to the recipients of all loans and other financial assistance it has provided since (its inception on December 23rd,1913) including the identity of each entity to which the board has provided such assistance…