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Victory for Audit the Fed

One year ago, I remember talking to Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) at the Conservative Political Action Conference when a polite volunteer for Rep. Ron Paul's (R-Tex.) Campaign for Liberty edged in, bearing a clipboard, and asked the senator to back legislation to "audit the Federal Reserve." Sessions gave the inoffensive, talk-to-me-later answer that usually greets all young people bearing clipboards. Why would the Senate grab onto a Ron Paul idea and "audit" the Federal Reserve?

Today, the Senate did just that in a 96-0 vote. Ben Smith has more on the coalition that formed to support this (a similar coalition was built, but failed, to stop the re-confirmation of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke). It's not all that Paul wanted, but his Campaign for Liberty was asking for support as recently as this morning, and it's a substantial win just a week before Paul's son faces a U.S. Senate primary.

"I'm in favor of accountability," Sen. Bob Casey (D-Penn.) told me, as the amendment's Senate sponsor, Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), was congratulated by colleagues. "The way that Sanders amendment ultimately was crafted, it was targeted, instead of being so broad-based that it could complicate things."

By David Weigel  |  May 11, 2010; 12:56 PM ET
Categories:  Congress , Libertarians  
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