WASHINGTON--While praising Senate passage of an amendment he supported to the financial regulation bill to audit the Federal Reserve, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said that an amendment by Senator David Vitter (R-Louisiana) was a better and stronger approach to shine a brighter light into the actions of the secretive Federal Reserve.
“Any action to shine a bright light onto the secretive actions of the Fed is a step in the right direction. But I’m disappointed that the Senate didn’t support a stronger amendment giving Utahns a full accounting of how the Federal Reserve is spending taxpayer dollars,” said Hatch. “The Fed has shelled out more than two trillion taxpayer dollars to financial institutions during the financial crisis, it is past time for the American people to get a full accounting of who is getting assistance, how much they are getting and how the money is being spent.”
Because of pressure from the Administration, Sanders weakened his initial amendment by reducing the scope of the audit. Senator Vitter subsequently introduced the original Sanders amendment that would have had much broader and tougher inspections of the Fed.
Hatch cosponsored the modified amendment by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) that:
Requires a one-time Government Accountability Office (GAO) audit of the Federal Reserve’s loans and other financial assistance provided between December 1, 2007 and date of enactment;
Requires a GAO audit of the governance of the Federal reserve bank system, including how bank directors are appointed; and
Requires the Federal Reserve to publish information on its website on all loans and financial assistance provided between December 2007 and date of enactment under a number of Fed facilities.
The Vitter amendment, which failed by a vote of 37 to 62, would have authorized the GAO to conduct broad and repeated audits of the Federal Reserve. Hatch cosponsored both amendments.