WASHINGTON (The Blaze/AP) -- The House has voted to give Congress greater scrutiny over the Federal Reserve, approving legislation sponsored by longtime Fed nemesis, Republican Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX).
“It is up to us to reassert ourselves,” Rep. Paul said during a House debate on Tuesday.
The legislation requires the Government Accountability Office to carry out comprehensive audits of the bank. It passed easily but faces an uncertain future in the Senate.
“We should have privacy for the individual, but we should have openness of government all the time. We’ve drifted a long way from that,” Rep. Paul said Tuesday.
“I think when people talk about independence and having this privacy of the central bank, it means they want secrecy,” he added.
Opposition to the bill came mostly from Democrats.
“It seems to me what we’re talking about is taking some fake punches at the Federal Reserve but not doing anything serious,” said Rep. Barney Frank.
The three-time presidential candidate Paul, who is retiring at end of this session, has made a career of trying to do away with the Fed, which he blames for the government growth. Failing to accomplish that, he has pushed to make the independent central bank's operations more transparent.
The Fed is already subject to annual audits, but Paul's bill goes further in requiring inspections of the bank's monetary policy decision-making. And although Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has opposed the legislation, that didn't stop it from being passed 327 to 98.
The bill will now be sent to the Senate where it falls into the hands of Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).
Oh, it might be interesting to note: Rep. Bob Turner (R-NY) was the only Republican who voted against the bill.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.