Ted Cruz is joining fellow Republican Sen. Rand Paul's bid to get a Senate vote on a bill to audit the Federal Reserve by holding up Janet Yellen's nomination to be Fed chairman.
Ahead of Yellen's confirmation hearing on Thursday morning, the Texan said in a statement: "I agree with Rand Paul: Before the Senate votes on whether to confirm Janet Yellen, we should at the very least allow a vote on the Audit the Fed bill."
Cruz also criticized the Fed's efforts to boost the economy through large-scale purchases of bonds, saying that "never-ending quantitative easing threatens to undermine the dollar and to drive up prices on everyday goods from food to gasoline to the basic necessities of life. We need to bring transparency to the Fed so the American people can understand the scope and consequences of its policies."
paul's bill would subject the Fed's monetary policy decisions and emergency loans to illiquid banks to an audit from the Government Accountability Office. The Kentucky senator's father, long-time Texas congressman and champion of libertarianism Ron Paul, made criticism of the Fed a focus of his career.
Yellen is expected to gain approval from the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday and then the nod from the full Senate with relatively little trouble, but by joining with Paul, his fellow Tea Partier and possible 2016 Republican presidential primary contender, Cruz could increase the pressure from the right wing to cause trouble for the administration.
Separately, GOP Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and John McCain of Arizona have said they will try to hold up Yellen's confirmation to demand information from the Obama administration about the 2012 attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya.