House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), upping congressional pressure on the Federal Reserve, wants the Fed to disclose and post online information related to its lending and borrowing practices.
Pelosi made the comment on Wednesday in an interview with the Daily Show's Jon Stewart, but the banter made it difficult to be certain she was referring to the Fed. Pelosi's office confirmed to the Huffington Post that she was referring to the Fed when she made her remark.
"I think we should ask them to put it on the Internet like they've done with the recovery package and the budget and the rest," she said Wednesday.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||M - Th 11p / 10c|
Congress steps gently when it comes to Fed authority, but the legislative body is showing increasing signs of agitation with the Fed, which pushes hundreds of billions of dollars into the economy with no oversight. As Matt Taibbi colorfully noted in his recent Rolling Stone cover story:
None other than disgraced senator Ted Stevens was the poor sap who made the unpleasant discovery that if Congress didn't like the Fed handing trillions of dollars to banks without any oversight, Congress could apparently go fuck itself -- or so said the law. When Stevens asked the GAO about what authority Congress has to monitor the Fed, he got back a letter citing an obscure statute that nobody had ever heard of before: the Accounting and Auditing Act of 1950. The relevant section, 31 USC 714(b), dictated that congressional audits of the Federal Reserve may not include "deliberations, decisions and actions on monetary policy matters." The exemption, as Foss notes, "basically includes everything." According to the law, in other words, the Fed simply cannot be audited by Congress. Or by anyone else, for that matter.
Also on Wednesday, Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) called for the GAO to have more authority to investigate the Fed.
Before recess, Pelosi said the House would address "Fed authority" when it returned.
In the Senate, Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont, is pushing for an amendment to the budget resolution, putting the Senate on the record opposed to Fed secrecy, into the final budget package.