For meeting with Senate staffers, feel free to use the talking points below in your discussion:
- Recent polling shows Audit the Fed is supported by nearly 75% of the American people
- H.R. 459, Audit the Fed, passed the House in July 2012 by a vote of 327-98
Why Audit the Fed?
- Fed policies affect average Americans far more than fiscal, spending, and tax policies legislated by Congress
- The Fed’s expansion of the money supply, combined with artificially low interest rates, creates terribly destructive cycles of malinvestment; such as the housing bubble, stock market bubble, and employment boom and bust cycles
- Current law prohibits Congress from fully auditing the Fed’s monetary policy actions. An entity that controls the value and purchasing power of the dollar should not be permitted to operate in the dark without proper oversight by Congress and accountability to the people
Isn’t the Fed already audited?
- While the Fed’s financial statements are audited annually, it is not enough for the Fed to provide just an updated balance sheet after crucial decisions and transactions have already occurred
- The public deserves to know how and why Fed officials expand the money supply and set interest rates
Didn’t Dodd-Frank mandate an audit?
- The limited, one-time audit mandated in the Dodd-Frank Act focused solely on emergency credit programs, and only on procedural issues rather than focusing on the substantive details of the lending transactions
- Data on other activities, such as open market operations and discount window lending, have only been published as a result of lawsuits—not because of Congressional action
Wouldn't an audit harm the Fed's independence?
- Absolutely not. The Fed was created by Congress and remains subject to full oversight and regulation by Congress—up to and including abolishing it altogether!
- The Fed is independent from the Executive Branch (Treasury Department), but not from Congress
- Audit the Fed does not change or set monetary policy: it merely grants Congress retrospective access to the information used to determine and carry it out, so Congress can properly understand, oversee, and evaluate the Fed.