One of the frequent targets of ire from both the left and right is the Federal Reserve, which critics charge is failing to be “accountable to the President and Congress.” Shortly after noon today, the Senate passed, by a 96-0 vote, Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) amendment requiring a one-time audit of the Federal Reserve since Sept. 2008. The audit covers the time when the Federal Reserve became active in using its resources to help prop up rapidly failing financial institutions and megabanks. Sanders had altered his amendment since its original introduction to limit it to an audit of the Fed’s books only since the recent financial crisis. The amendment originally called for a full audit of the institution’s records, and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), who successfully passed such a measure in the House of Representatives and advocates for ending the Federal Reserve, referred to Sanders’ amendment as “watered down.”
Sen. David Vitter’s (R-LA) amendment, which echoes the language in the Paul amendment in the House, failed along a 37-62 vote.