Panel votes to audit the Fed; cap its spending at $4 trillion

A key congressional panel on Thursday approved legislation introduced by the Texas congressman that—for the first time in the central bank’s 95-year-history—would require government audits of Federal Reserve monetary policy, as well as how much the central bank has lent and will lend to specific banks.

Fed Chief Ben Bernanke and other key members of the Obama administration, including Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, had vigorously opposed the move.

The measure was approved by the House Financial Services Committee as it considered broad bank regulatory reform legislation, and included a package of other measures weakening the Fed’s power and capping how much it can lend or guarantee.

The committee is now poised to pass the entire bill and has scheduled its final vote on the legislation for December 1.

Market Watch
Bloomberg

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