Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) may try to hold up the nomination of Janet Yellen to chair the Federal Reserve unless the U.S. Senate considers voting on his Federal Reserve transparency bill.
"As part of Senate consideration of the Janet Yellen nomination to be chair of the Federal Reserve, I will request a vote on my bipartisan Federal Reserve Transparency Act, S. 209," Paul said in a statement Friday. "The American people deserve transparency from the Federal Reserve and the federal government as a whole."
News of the Kentucky senator’s intentions was first reported by CNBC.
Paul's legislation calls for a complete audit of the Federal Reserve.
It “will eliminate the current audit restrictions placed on the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and mandate a complete audit of the Federal Reserve to be completed by a firm deadline,” Paul’s website states, “finally delivering answers to the American people about how their money is being spent by Washington.”
“We must take a critical look at the Fed's monetary policy decisions, discount window operations, and a host of other things, with a real audit - and not just pay lip-service to the idea of an audit. At a time when we're seeing great volatility in small Euro-zone economies like Greece, Portugal and Ireland, it is more crucial than ever that we have real transparency at our own central bank,” the site adds.
Of course, Paul’s plan to hold up Yellen's nomination would require that he enlist the aid of at least 40 like-minded senators; otherwise, he’ll be easily defeated by Senate leadership.
Paul’s hand "should not be overstated,” a Senate aide told CNBC Friday morning.
The aide also said that Senate leaders are confident Yellen will coast through the nomination process. Hearings have not yet been scheduled.
Paul will formally attempt to put Yellen’s nomination on hold sometime next week, according to CNBC.
Markets responded to news of Paul's threat with some irritation:
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