The House Financial Services Committee voted earlier this month to advance a proposal which would remove the ban on congressional audits of Federal Reserve interest rate decisions.
Offered by Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) a vocal advocate of abolishing the Fed, the measure is an amendment to a bill creating a council of regulators to monitor systemic risk, according to Bloomberg.
Specifically it demands that the Fed and its 12 regional banks be audited within a year after enactment of interest rate changes.
"This is the bill that would allow the people to win over the special interests," said Paul, quoted by the news source, but there has been no shortage of criticism, centering on the alleged impact of a loss of independent monetary policy on the dollar.
Among the biggest opponents of the proposed amendment is the current Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, who wrote in the Sunday Nov. 29 edition of The Washington Post that it was "very much out of step with the global consensus on the appropriate role of central banks," and added that it "would seriously impair the prospects for economic and financial stability in the U.S.."
The Senate Banking Committee began hearings last week on Bernanke’s recent nomination for a second term as Fed chairman.