Sanders’ Fed Audit Amendment Likely To Prevail

Could Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) shake off powerful opponents of his proposal to audit the Federal Reserve? It looks like he’s about to do just that. By making a few changes to his financial reform amendment, Sanders has won support from Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd, and Majority Leader Harry Reid, and seems more poised than ever to prevail. The Senate should vote on his amendment later today.

In order to allay some of the White House’s and the Fed’s concerns, Sanders has agreed to limit the scope of what the Government Accountability Office would be allowed to audit–but his plan will still require thorough review of all the Fed’s emergency lending, beginning December 1, 2007.“The way you would do it is to make sure that the audit is not looking at the open market policy, where you’re not looking at how interest rates are set,” Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) said in response to a question from TPMDC, after a floor vote on a different amendment. “What you’re doing is looking at the actual financial transactions that the Fed is involved in.”

“It’s my understanding he’s working very closely–I’ve talked to him on the floor–with the Fed to try to get that part right,” Corker said.

Moments later, Sanders announced the changes on the Senate floor–and they were sufficient to win Dodd’s support.

The amendment will still “allow the GAO to conduct a top-to-bottom audit of the Federal Reserve’s emergency lending activities since December 1, 2007,” Sanders said on the Senate floor this evening. “In addition, the modifications require the Fed to put on its website all of the recipients of over $2 trillion in emergency assistance since December 1, 2007.”

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