Former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke says legislation dubbed the Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2015, which lost a cloture vote Tuesday afternoon in the Senate, has nothing to do with actually auditing the Fed.
The Senate voted 53-44 to advance the bill. It needed 60 votes to make it to the Senate floor.
In his Brookings blog, posted before the vote, Bernanke wrote about S. 2232, otherwise known as the “Audit the Fed” bill. If you think the bill deals with reviewing the Fed’s financial assets and liabilities, records, and operations, “you’d be wrong,” Bernanke writes.
The Fed, he said, “is already thoroughly audited in the usual sense, by an independent inspector general and by an outside accounting firm (currently, Deloitte and Touche), and the resulting financial reports are made public online.”
What’s more, he wrote, “the Government Accountability Office, which does in-depth reviews and analyses (‘audits’ of a different type) of government activities at the request of Congress, has wide latitude to review Fed operations, including supervision and regulation as well as other functions.”