As the Senate continues debating legislation to reform the nation’s financial regulatory system, U.S. Senator Russ Feingold is backing a bipartisan effort to have an independent audit of the Federal Reserve. Feingold is cosponsoring an amendment to the financial regulatory reform bill currently being debated, an amendment which would allow the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct an audit to better understand how the Federal Reserve has handled over $2 trillion in taxpayer-backed loans and other assistance for large financial institutions and corporations since the financial crisis in 2008. The Federal Reserve has refused to disclose to the American taxpayers how this assistance, paid for by taxpayer dollars, was distributed.
“The American people deserve to know how trillions of their tax dollars have been used,” Feingold said. “As the country continues to recover from the recession and millions of Americans continue to look for jobs, the Fed has been doling out huge sums of money to corporations and financial institutions, some of which may have contributed to the financial crisis. It is the job of the GAO to conduct investigations and it is capable of conducting this audit to offer the transparency that has been missing for far too long.”
Sen. Feingold, who voted against Wall Street bailouts in 2008 and 2009, is backing the amendment as part of his effort to strengthen the financial regulatory reform legislation and prevent another financial crisis.
An audit of the Federal Reserve certainly seems to be in order, and I’m glad Sen. Feingold – as well as other senators from both sides of the aisle – can agree that the Federal Reserve should not operate free from oversight and scrutiny.