House panel votes to audit Federal Reserve

AP News
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Posted: Nov 19, 2009 5:26 PM

The House Financial Services Committee has voted to pull the curtain on the normally secretive Federal Reserve by subjecting the nation's central bank to a sweeping congressional audit.

The provision would direct the Government Accountability Office to examine transactions the Fed has undertaken to spur lending, stabilize banks and revive the economy.

The Fed is an independent agency of the government and has been shielded from scrutiny. The proposed audit would not include a review of the Fed's monetary policy deliberations.

Antipathy toward the Fed's closed-door activities has grown after it used its emergency powers during last year's financial crisis to pump hundreds of billions of dollars into the struggling financial sector.