Rep. Ron Paul must be delighted. His pet project -- a bill to audit the Federal Reserve -- just passed the House and will move on to the Senate.
The bill's goal is not to be confused with a financial audit. Instead, it would open the Fed's decision making process up to a full investigation.
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke called it a "nightmare scenario" in testimony last week, because he believes it could influence Fed officials to make decisions based on politics, rather than economics.
What Ron Paul wants to do, is to open up the Fed's closed-door deliberations for review. Currently, monetary policy decisions are made in secret. Minutes are only released with a three-week lag, and full transcripts are published five years after the fact.
Paul also wants the public to have access to records showing the Fed's transactions with its member banks, as well as foreign central banks and governments. Current law protects the Fed from releasing that information.
In debate on the House floor, proponents hailed the bill for increasing transparency. It passed with bipartisan support, 327 to 98.
Opponents, including Rep. Barney Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat, criticized the bill for threatening the Fed's independence.
"We're taking fake punches at the Federal Reserve but not doing anything serious," he said Tuesday.
The bill is not expected to pass the Democrat-controlled Senate.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke headed back to the classroom Tuesday, and defended the Fed against its most outspoken critic, Ron Paul.
In a lecture otherwise about Fed history and the Great Depression, Bernanke devoted four slides to discussing "problems of the gold standard."
For years, Congressman (and now presidential candidate) Ron Paul has argued to abolish the Fed and revert back to a system where U.S. dollars can be redeemed for MOREAnnalyn Kurtz - Mar 20, 2012 3:37 PM ET
I got an e-mail from one of my local liquor stores (is it a problem if I am on the list for more than one wine shop in my neighborhood?) alerting me to the fact that one of my favorite makers of brown liquor, Heaven Hill Distilleries, is now selling election-themed straight bourbon whiskey. (Yes, with an E. This is America! Although they make Whiskey in Ireland too. But I MOREPaul R. La Monica - Mar 9, 2012 4:13 PM ET
Every single 2012 candidate wants to change the U.S. tax code.
Some of the changes would be quite drastic (I'm looking at you, Ron Paul.)
Other candidates propose far more modest changes. In general, every Republican candidate wants to lower taxes. President Obama's biggest modifications would result in the rich paying more.
CNNMoney has covered the proposals from Obama, Paul, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum in some detail.
But now our friends MORECharles Riley - Mar 5, 2012 12:07 PM ET
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