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POLITICS: PennAve

Rand Paul puts hold on Janet Yellen nomination, calling for vote to audit Fed

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Politics,Congress,Susan Ferrechio,Senate,Rand Paul,PennAve,Federal Reserve,Janet Yellen

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., will place a "hold" on President Obama's Federal Reserve chair nominee until the Senate is permitted to vote on a bill to audit the Fed.

In a letter sent Tuesday to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Paul said he objects to allowing a vote on Janet Yellen's nomination "without also considering legislation to bring much needed transparency to the Fed."

Paul has a bipartisan following in the Senate and House that wants to see the results of a Fed audit, among them Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. Lawmakers want a more thorough examination of the Fed's monetary policy decisions and other information.

The legislation was first introduced in 2009 by Paul's father, former Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas.

According to the Federal Reserve, the financial statements of the reserve banks are audited annually "by an independent outside auditor." The Fed's operations are also "subject to review" by the Government Accountability Office, but Paul and other lawmakers said the scrutiny needs to be more comprehensive and available for Congress to examine.

The Republican-run House in 2012 passed a bill calling for an audit of the Fed and it passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, only to be killed by the Democratic Senate.

The Senate is expected to hold a confirmation hearing for Yellen on Nov. 14. With Paul's "hold" in place, Reid will need 60 votes to move her nomination to the floor and Democrats control just 54 votes.

Despite the last-minute snag, Reid said confirmation of the new Fed chair was virtually assured.

"She'll be confirmed quite easily," he said.

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Author:

Susan Ferrechio

Chief Congressional Correspondent
The Washington Examiner