Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is up for confirmation this Thursday for a second four-year term. Despite rising public anger at the Fed over the secretive bailouts, the Senate Banking Committee is widely expected to approve President Obama's choice.
But Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) says it's "not necessarily" a foregone conclusion. Now, a group of progressives are trying to make it a real fight.
The Progressive Change Campaign Committee has launched a petition at StopBailoutBen.com, urging senators to vote against Bernanke. In an email to supporters, they highlight a conversation between the Fed chairman and Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) in which Bernanke said "I don't know" which foreign banks got half-a-trillion U.S. dollars in exchange for foreign currency.
The full letter:
You are a U.S. senator deciding this Thursday whether to confirm Ben Bernanke for another 4-year term as Chair of the Federal Reserve.
The Federal Reserve recently gave over a trillion dollars in new bailouts to various banks, and Bernanke refuses to say who got the money. He actively opposes attempts by Congress to audit his books.
What do you do?
If you think senators should vote "no" on Bernanke if he refuses to say where trillions of dollars went, click here to sign our petition. Then, tell your friends.
Here's a fascinating exchange that happened recently between Chairman Bernanke and Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) about some of these unaccounted-for loans:
GRAYSON: So who got the money?
BERNANKE: Financial institutions in Europe and other countries.
GRAYSON: Which ones?
BERNANKE: I don't know.
GRAYSON: Half-a-trillion dollars and you don't know who got the money?
In total, over a trillion dollars are unaccounted for. Reps. Grayson and Ron Paul (R-TX) propose an audit of the Federal Reserve, but Bernanke opposes it.
Click here to tell senators to say "no" to Bernanke if he continues to say "no" to transparency. Then, tell your friends.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said on Sunday that Bernanke is "part of the problem" facing our economy and that he will vote "no."
But many senators are on the fence. Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), the head of the Senate Banking Committee, called the Federal Reserve an "abysmal failure" but said he was "waiting to see how members react" before deciding how to vote.
This week, senators need to hear from us. Click here to sign our petition. Then, tell your friends.
Thanks for being a bold progressive,