Published on Jan 1, 2016
The Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009 (H.R. 1207) was a bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives of the 111th United States Congress by Congressman Ron Paul (TX-14). It proposed a reformed audit of the Federal Reserve System (the “Fed”) before the end of 2010. The bill had 319 cosponsors, and was referred to the Committee on Financial Services. Its Senate version, introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders (Ind.-VT), was called the Federal Reserve Sunshine Act of 2009 (S. 604), and it had 32 cosponsors. A related bill used the same two names in reverse order. An amendment with similar provisions was added to the Federal Stability Improvement Act (H.R. 3996) by the House Committee on Financial Services in November 2009.
The bill was reintroduced in the House by Ron Paul, and in the Senate by his son Rand Paul (R-KY), during the 112th United States Congress as H.R. 459 and S. 202. On July 25, 2012 the House bill was passed 327 to 98.
Support for the Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009 was one of the issues raised as part of the nationwide 2009 Tea Party protests. During an episode of the Glenn Beck program which broadcast April 15 from a rally at the Alamo in San Antonio, Pat Gray interviewed a local supporter of the Transparency Act, drawing cheers from the crowd.
Support for the bill has also come from those on the left outside of congress. In a letter to Chairman Barney Frank of the House Financial Services Committee, Ranking Member Spencer Bachus and its members, several progressives such as bloggers Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake, Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism, “Tyler Durden” of Zero Hedge, author Naomi Klein, labor leaders President Richard Trumka of the AFL-CIO, the SEIU’s President Andy Stern, the United Steelworkers’s President Leo Gerard, economists Dean Baker, James K. Galbraith, Rob Johnson, and professors William K. Black, Thomas Ferguson, and L. Randall Wray, pushed for passage of the bill and against the adoption of the amendment proposed by Rep. Watt.
The advocacy group Campaign for Liberty (CFL) encourages members to petition representatives to cosponsor the Transparency Act. College Republicans at Appalachian State University, staged a Boston Tea Party themed assembly for tax day 2009, to raise awareness for the Transparency Act; the event included wearing white wristbands to symbolize slavery and mailing tea bags to state representatives. CFL president John Tate promotes the bill in conjunction with dealing with “the silent, destructive tax of monetary inflation”, this thought was echoed in the Kansas City Star. Ron Paul, Andrew Napolitano, and state representative Jim Guest promoted the bill “at length” at the crowded first CFL regional conference in St. Louis, Missouri (March 27–29), affirming Americans’ “right to know where their tax dollars are going, especially those going to companies from the stimulus package.” Pro-gambling group Gambling911.com is also interested in the Transparency Act, as an opportunity to audit the Federal Reserve, and also promoted the CFL “Freedom Celebration” regional conference.