Senate Adopts Scaled-Back Fed Audit Measure

Posted May 11, 2010 at 12:21pm

Bernie Sanders won unanimous Senate support Tuesday for his amendment to audit the Federal Reserve, handing the Vermont Independent a legislative victory that just weeks ago seemed unlikely.

The Senate voted 96-0 vote in favor of the amendment to the financial reform bill. It would require a one-time audit of the Federal Reserve and require the central bank to publish the beneficiaries of bailout funds dating back to 2007.

“I think this amendment begins the process of lifting the veil of secrecy of perhaps the most powerful agency there is, the Federal Reserve,” Sanders said at a press conference following the vote.

The vote came after weeks of negotiations among Sanders, Treasury Department officials and Banking Chairman Chris Dodd, who previously raised concerns about a more far-reaching proposal. Sanders’ original proposal was tempered to meet those concerns and won the support of both the Connecticut Democrat and Banking ranking member Richard Shelby (R-Ala.).

The Senate rejected, 37-62, an amendment by Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), which called for future audits of the Fed.