It’s amazing how HR 1207, The Federal Reserve Transparency Act continues to gather co-sponsors. Since my post on April 30 when there were a little over 100 co-sponsors, the list has ballooned to 224! In fact, I just got an email from my Representative’s office on this very issue. It reads:
Thank you for contacting me regarding the need for greater accountability of the Federal Reserve System, commonly referred to as “the Fed.” It is good to hear from you, and I am pleased to inform you that I have cosponsored legislation addressing this issue.
The Fed has a unique role in our financial system. Since its creation by the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, this central banking organization has been the subject of relatively loose scrutiny. The Fed is currently required to publish numerous annual reports and is audited by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). However, the GAO is prohibited from auditing monetary policy operations, foreign transactions, and the operations of the Federal Open Market Committee, the primary policy-making body through which monetary policy is formulated. This is particularly troubling considering the fact that the Fed has spent hundreds of billions of dollars to bail out failing financial institutions in the past year alone.
I believe that the Fed’s funding facilities and relationship with the Department of the Treasury deserve careful evaluation, as does its relationship with foreign entities. Our financial system has experienced a period of shock over the last several months. To avoid unnecessary further damage, I believe it is fundamental that we provide stronger oversight of the Fed.
To address this problem, Representative Ron Paul of Texas introduced H.R. 1207, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009. This legislation would provide the GAO the authority to fully audit the Fed and require an audit of its Board of Governors. H.R. 1207 would require this audit to be completed by the end of 2010, presented to the relevant Congressional committees of jurisdiction and Congressional leadership, and made available to any Member of Congress within 90 days.
The Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009 was introduced on February 26, 2009, and was referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. No further action has taken place. As a cosponsor of H.R. 1207, rest assured I will work hard to see this legislation signed into law.
I appreciate you taking the time to contact me. I feel it is important to keep an open line of communication so I can best serve the interests of the 6th District. I hope you will continue to be in touch as the 111th Congress debates issues of importance to the United States.
Again, thanks for the benefit of your comments. Please feel free to contact me whenever I may be of assistance.
Member of Congress
I don’t know about you, but I always appreciate a letter from my Congressman. Now given that there are 435 members in the House of Representatives, that means that over a half of the members openly support this legislation. According to my count, 117 of the 178 Republican members of the House of Representatives are in favor, as are 61 Democrats. Joining the ranks of our Rep. Wittman (VA-1) and Rep. Goodlatte (VA-6) are Randy Forbes (VA-4), Frank Wolf (VA-10), and even newly elected Democrat Rep. Tom Perriello (VA-5). Thank you! Every Virginia House Republican has joined in the effort…every Virginia Republican but one…Rep. Eric Cantor.
Representative Eric Cantor (VA-7) is arguably the most powerful member in the Virginia Republican House delegation as he serves as the Republican Whip. One function of the whip is to rally fellow party members behind important legislation. But where is Eric Cantor when it comes to HR 1207? Why has he not taken a stand? Have his fellow Republicans charted the course ahead of him? Is he content to be a silent follower on this issue? Or does he intend to balk at the wishes of the majority of his party? I recently called his Culpeper office to discover the answer. Not surprisingly, that office referred me to his office in Washington, D.C. From there, I was redirected to a nonfunctioning voice mail. Whoops! So, undeterred, on Monday, I tried again. This time, the D.C. office informed me that Rep. Cantor has not yet reached a decision regarding The Federal Reserve Transparency Act. Not reached a decision? Come on Representative Cantor! Using your influence and position as whip, you can and should lead other Republicans to support greater accountability and openness in the federal government. Therefore as a reader of this article, your mission is clear. If you live within the 7th district and support HR 1207, then I strongly recommend that you contact Rep. Cantor’s D.C. office (202.225-2815) and urge him to support the resolution.