Exclusive–Rep. Thomas Massie Unveils Bipartisan ‘Audit the Fed’ Bill

The Federal Reserve
Andrew Harnick/AP
SEAN MORAN

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) told Breitbart News in an interview on Friday about his legislation to audit the Federal Reserve, contending that Wall Street might have undue influence on the nation’s central bank. President Donald Trump has previously supported auditing the Fed.

Congressman Massie introduced H.R. 24, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act, this week. Massie’s legislation would require a full audit of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve. The legislation would increase transparency into the nation’s central bank, which has immense influence over the nation’s economy.

Auditing the Federal Reserve joins a growing list of issues that break through the establishment and engender bipartisan support.

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) co-sponsored Massie’s bill to audit the Fed, saying that the nation’s central bank remains “woefully non-transparent” and has little accountability.

DeFazio told Breitbart News, “My job is to fight for the interests of the American people, not Wall Street. The Federal Reserve acted as the handmaiden to Wall Street leading up the financial crisis, but remains woefully non-transparent and continues to operate without any accountability. I have co-sponsored legislation to audit the Federal Reserve throughout my time in Congress and will continue to push for greater transparency and accountability.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) sponsored the Senate version of the Audit the Fed bill, and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has worked with Democrats and Republicans on increasing transparency on the Federal Reserve.

Congressman Massie told Breitbart News that now is the time to audit the Federal Reserve because he believes that President Donald Trump would sign the legislation and that the bill has bipartisan support.

“Now is the time because I believe the president would sign an Audit the Fed bill. This bill has passed through the House with a veto-proof majority. This last Congress it passed out of committee, but the Speaker [Paul Ryan] did not pick it up. I believe if we can get it on the floor in the House and to the Senate, it would pass with a large majority; we wouldn’t even have to worry about a veto-proof majority because I believe this president would sign it,” Massie said.

Former congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul, who initially led the charge to audit the Fed, said on Friday this issue serves as one of few issues that progressives and conservatives agree on.

“Audit the Fed is one of the few issues that unites libertarians, conservatives, and even sincere progressives like Bernie Sanders,” Paul tweeted on Thursday.

Paul added:

Therefore, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should immediately begin working to pass this bill through Congress and tear down the wall of secrecy, so President Trump can fulfill his campaign pledge to audit the Federal Reserve.

President Trump previously supported auditing the Federal Reserve in 2016 and attacked Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) for missing a Senate vote on it.

“It is so important to audit The Federal Reserve, and yet Ted Cruz missed the vote on the bill that would allow this to be done,” Trump wrote in 2016.

Massie said that with a divided Congress, Republicans and Democrats should join together and pass his bill to audit the Federal Reserve.

“The last time we voted for it in the House it got over a two-thirds majority in the House,” the Kentucky Republican continued. “We got a divided Congress, we’ve got a House that finds it hard to agree with the White House, why not bring up something like Audit the Fed on which there’s a bipartisan agreement?”

Congressman Massie contended that, contrary to the establishment narrative about the Fed, the Federal Reserve has a “revolving door” between Wall Street, investment banks, and the Treasury Department. Rep. Massie said that this makes it harder to argue that the nation’s central bank remains truly independent of outside influence.

Massie explained, “One of the things that I have not been able to express yet in the media is that people say that the Fed needs to be independent and I’m saying that’s exactly why there needs to be an audit– because the current chair [Jerome Powell] of the Federal Reserve started as an investment banker, then he went to work for Treasury, then he went back to banking, investment, and stocks, and now he’s in the Fed. So, what you have is this revolving door between Wall Street, investment banks, and Treasury and the Fed, and how on earth can you know the Fed is independent of Wall Street, banks, and the Treasury if they employ people from those backgrounds?”

“My greatest concern is that they’re being influenced by Wall Street, the banks, and the Treasury and not necessarily any leader in the executive branch, although that is a concern as well, because Congress has been delegated to the authority to coin money and regulate the value thereof in Article 1 of the Constitution,” Massie added. “Congress created the Federal Reserve; it’s our obligation to audit the Fed and to understand how it works.”

The Kentucky Republican told Breitbart News in an interview last year that America needs to audit the Federal Reserve because “it’s a creature of the swamp.”

“We need to audit the Fed. It’s a creature of the swamp,” Massie said. “It’s controlling the economy, and it’s still behind the veil, and people are demanding more transparency in their government in the Internet age—and we should know what our government is doing.”

Further, Massie said that the current audits of the Federal Reserve “can’t audit the transactions with foreign banks, and they can’t look at the decision process that was used at the Federal Reserve. All of that is secret and not auditable.”

“I don’t care what your political persuasion is; I don’t think anyone wants the banks or Wall Street setting monetary policy,” Massie said.

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.

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