Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Fed Audit Roller Coaster

Ron Paul's bill HR1207 to audit the Federal Reserve continues to make news, at least in the blogosphere. Some recent coverage indicated that Barney Frank (D-MA) has indicated Paul's bill will pass the House in October. This is important because Frank chairs the House Financial Services Committee.

The excitement even seemed to catch the more sober blogs like Open Congress who recently titled a post "Audit the Fed" Bill Will Pass This Fall.

Apparently, this was pronouncement was based on a faulty transcript of Frank's remarks and was overly optimistic.

The transcript is missing an essential sentence, which is marked in bold:

That will be part of the overall federal regulation that we are redacting. This will probably pass in October.”

(Accurate transcript here.)

With “This will probably pass in October”, Frank is referring not to HR 1207, but to his own financial regulation bill, which might or might not include some aspects of Ron Paul’s HR 1207. The preceding sentence, “That will be part of the overall federal regulation that we are redacting,” is for some reason missing from the widely distributed transcript, and has therefore been completely ignored by bloggers and commentators.

In recent weeks Ron Paul repeatedly warned against just this sort of thing happening: that HR 1207 might become part of a more comprehensive financial regulation bill and be watered down so that it appeases the angry masses without instituting any real changes. It would be an irony of history if that happened — if HR 1207 were watered down and integrated into an unconstitutional bill that Ron Paul would have to vote against.

Based on the corrected transcript, Frank is talking about making information on what the Fed buys public, not on Paul's bill itself.

For more on the Ron Paul bill to audit the Fed click here.

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