Jillian Bandes
It's an odd alliance -- self-proclaimed socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders and libertarian Rep. Ron Paul, who both sponsored bills in their respective Houses of Congress to audit the $2 billion in taxpayer money that was loaned out by Federal Reserve as part of successive financial bailout packages.

In December, the House bill was passed, and today, the Senate bill was passed. Obama's signature is expected, so in a few short weeks the auditing of the nation's largest financial loan by the largest financial warehouse will begin.

The original House bill was predictably more extensive than the Senate bill, having called for the auditing of the entire Fed, not just the bailout. On his website, Paul expressed clear disappointment in the version that did go through:
At the very last minute on the floor of the Senate, supposed compromise language was agreed to and substituted in the Sanders Amendment to the Financial Reform Bill.  This language was acceptable to the administration, committee leadership, and to the Fed.  The trouble is, while it is better than no audit at all, it guts the spirit of a truly meaningful audit of the most crucial transactions of the Fed.
What auditors will find is anyone's guess, and, as Paul said -- this bill is only the start.

Jillian Bandes

Jillian Bandes is the National Political Reporter for Townhall.com