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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Janet Yellen

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has announced his intention to block the nomination of Janet Yellen as Federal Reserve chair, unless the Senate holds an up-or-down vote on his Federal Reserve Transparency Act.

“As the Senate debates the nomination of the next head of the Federal Reserve, there is no more appropriate time to provide Congress with additional oversight and scrutiny of the actions and decisions of the central bank,” Paul wrote in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) on Tuesday.

“Accordingly, I will object to any unanimous consent agreement or the waiver of any rule with respect to the nomination of Dr. Yellen without a vote on S. 209,” he added.

Paul’s legislation, which he originally introduced in 2011, would mandate a complete audit of the Federal Reserve. Presently, government auditors are not allowed to review monetary policy deliberations.

When Senator Paul’s father, then-Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), introduced a similar bill in 2009, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke slammed the idea as a “nightmare scenario.”

“That is very concerning because there’s a lot of evidence that an independent central bank that makes decisions based strictly on economic considerations and not based on political pressure will deliver lower inflation and better economic results in the longer term,” Bernanke told the U.S. House of Representatives’ Financial Services Committee at the time. ”

“The term ‘audit the Fed’ is deceptive,” Bernanke added. “The public thinks that auditing means checking the books, looking at the financial statements, making sure that you’re not doing special deals, and that kind of thing. All of those things are [already] completely open.”

The bill is supported by a significant portion of the Senate — 24 Republicans and one Democrat (Alaska’s Mark Begich) have co-sponsored Paul’s legislation — raising the question of whether Reid could find 60 votes to overcome Paul’s objection. If Yellen’s nomination faces a prolonged delay, it would likely reopen the argument over filibuster reform that was tabled when the Senate agreed to hold up-or-down votes on seven of President Obama’s nominees in July.

Photo: International Monetary Fund via Flickr

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Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • Lynda Groom

    If the man hates the Fed in the first place why would this be a surprise? Obstruction, repeal and defund is the battle cry of the far right these days. Good governing comes in last place on their to do list. Blocking well qualified folks does not make any sense even in wacko-bird world. Does it?

  • latebloomingrandma

    The last thing we need is for the Federal Reserve to be bullied by Congressmen/women, who are bought and paid for by plutocrats. It is supposed to be free of political pressure.

    • hollyhock

      The GOP–the party that results to blackmail and hostage-taking when all else fails.

      • stcroixcarp

        The GOP is a failure.

      • sigrid28

        And sometimes as the FIRST resort.

  • Sand_Cat

    Rand Paul is an ass, plain and simple. If he’s who the people of Kentucky really want, they deserve him.

  • John Pigg

    Can’t help but think that maybe he is right.

    We suddenly realized in 07 that we had ceded too much political power to banking institutions. If these banking institutions are so large that they could not be allowed to fail, then wouldn’t they be able to influence the FED with their unchecked power?

    The Fed has significant responsibilities and extensive influence. If there is anything we have learned in the past 5 years is that our finance sector needs more oversight, not less. If the Fed has nothing to hide then why not support openness and transparency?

    • sigrid28

      What Paul is talking about is the equivalent, on the Feds level, of giving no-nothing Republican House representatives full rein to interfere with Jack Lew and his staff of experts at the Treasury, who adjust payment schedules whenever the government approaches the debt ceiling. This concept was floated by House Republicans during the government shutdown. People who ASK to do such things usually don’t know what in the heck they are talking about, because this kind of monetary policy is only properly administered by people who both (A) delight in the minutiae of economics yet (B) constantly feel the weight of the important decisions they are making and the impact they might have. Not the intellectual heft you would expect from a person like Rand Paul, who plagiarizes Wikipedia in the speeches he gives! Our experts at the Fed and at the Treasury are people who can handle a lot of stress routinely and do so responsibly, looking only at the economy as their guide. The last thing they need is irresponsible senators and representatives nipping at their heels. Like his father, Rand Paul’s chief goal is to diminish the role of the government agencies that control U.S. monetary policy as part of the Libertarian movement–nothing more sophisticated than that.

      A second point: Rand Paul like other Republicans wants to limit the role of the Dodd-Frank law that is still being written and enacted, which was designed to control financial institutions; gut the Consumer Protection agency, which would limit fraud against credit card holders, etc.; and weaken the SEC, which is supposed to monitor stock market transactions and practices, etc. This is the regulation Republicans rail against on behalf of their donors, the top 1% who have benefited and continue to benefit from the weakness of these government agencies. The Republican stance against these institutions has nothing to do with getting money out of politics or protecting the public from the kind of crisis that occurred in 2008.

      • John Pigg

        Dodd-Frank needs strengthened. And other regulatory measures need to be taken to ensure the crises of 08 does not happen again.

        The do-nothing Republican congress will be hurt electorally due to the irresponsible actions shutting down the government. I don’t see a problem with the U.S. government examining the Fed. Especially, if nutjob Republicans are willing to live with the consequences…

    • Butch Croan

      John if you think the Federal Reserve could have prevented the Banking Implosion you are about as ignorant of the real problem as Rand Paul. I will assume for a moment that unlike him you really want to understand what caused the mess in 2008 so I will suggest you do some reading, and stop listening to morons like him. I suggest reading first the Book “House Of Cards” then the book “13 Bankers” as well as any of the numerous warnings by Brooksley Born over the dangers of the so called “Derivative” markets back before the unwise repeal of The Glass-Stegall Act by those morons Graham-Leach-Bliley in 1999 during the Republican lead deregulation of the banking industry.

      After you do all this reading, and educate yourself to just what the real problems were with the banking industry I am sure a rational person would come to a conclusion the Federal Reserve is not the problem. The fact several of these Republican Congressman never questioned the logic behind Alan Greenspan’s decisions was really at the root of the problem not the agency itself. Rand Paul is either as stupid as he looks or he is lying to hide his real agenda which is to set the grounds for another banking scandal. i suspect the later is the true case even if I still consider him a moron.

      • John Pigg

        I think the whole financial system is rotten. I don’t think there was anything that the Fed could have done to prevent the Banking implosion. But I fundamentally do not trust the people managing the Fed.

        I do not see anything wrong with Congressional oversight.

        I completely agree with you on Glass-Stegall. I also read something recently that was interesting, of forcing all financial institutions to operate as partnerships. This would make everyone more responsible with money and risk.

        I do not know how to make the Banking system above board. But I fundamentally do not trust the Fed. If the Fed has nothing to hide, I do not see the problem.

        • Butch Croan

          I am not sure I agree with all you said, but the Fed does need some oversight that is for sure, but I do think they have a necessary purpose. The problem is that Alan Greenspan ran the Fed very dangerously, and when the head of the CFTC Brooksley Born warned about the huge potential for disaster that CDO’s and Derivatives presented, Alan Greenspan ignored her, and continued to loan these banks unlimited funds so there is some validity in your concerns about the Federal Reserve. I just feel the issues is how it has been ran in the past. I just think eliminating it as some such as Ron Paul or Rand Paul suggest wold be equally troublesome, as we certainly should allow the banks to set interest rates at whatever they want.

          • John Pigg

            Well when it comes to additional oversight, I definitely agree with you.

  • Dominick Vila

    If Rand Paul thinks his presidential bid will be enhanced by making threats, disrupting government, and by blocking the nominations of qualified persons whose services are desperately needed to achieve goals critical to our well being and national security, he must be delusional. Catering to the Tea Party may guarantee 25% of the vote in a national election…hardly what anyone with an ounce of common sense would be pleased with. Keep up the good work Rand, you and the likes of you are going down the tubes.
    Considering the magnitude of the problems we have faced since the 2007 great recession began, and the sacrifices that so many Americans had to make to overcome that economic crisis, the last thing we need is a radical ideologue in the White House. If I was a betting man, I am not, I would be a centrist with a good education and relevant record will be elected in 2016, probably by a landslide if the opposition includes candidates such as Paul, Cruz, Palin, Cantor, or Ryan.

    • highpckts

      Well it does seems that there are many who believe he’s just what the doctor ordered! I swear, most of my family think these guys are the greatest thing since sliced bread, patriots all!!

  • Pamby50

    Just changed the filibuster process already. The President should be able to get his nominees passed through the senate. Instead we have the 2yr olds running around saying that if I don’t get my way, I’m shutting everything down. Pitiful.

  • Allan Richardson

    Ironically, Janet Yellen is the candidate that has the LEAST support from Wall Street, and was the LIBERALS’ choice in the first place (and liberals feel the same about the Fed as libertarians, in general). Until Rand Paul can finally get around to abolishing the Fed, you would think he would want someone more or less on HIS SIDE running it!

    Janet Yellen wants to run the Federal Reserve for the benefit of the majority of working Americans, not for the big bank bosses. If Sen. Paul wanted to obstruct the President’s FIRST choice, that might make more sense; but the President, unlike the Tea Party, was willing to listen to the voices of Americans and change his mind. THIS candidate should be the most appealing to both liberals and libertarians.

  • highpckts

    Of course he does and we are surprised??

  • howa4x

    Rand Paul is doing noting more than a continuation of the obstruction policies that are the hallmark of the republicans in congress. Once again the threat of a filibuster made by the ones that have set the record for them. The do nothing republicans