June 30, 2009

CQ POLITICS: Ron Paul’s “Audit the Fed” Bill Gaining Steam.

He may have faded from the national political scene a year ago, after his dark-horse presidential run came to naught, but Rep. Ron Paul ’s influence is still being felt in campaigns and policy debates across the country. Indeed, the latest legislative priority of the libertarian Texas Republican — auditing the Federal Reserve — has gained support in unlikely quarters.

Paul’s legislation, popularly known as the “Audit the Fed” bill, has drawn 244 cosponsors, ranging from Ohio’s John A. Boehner , the conservative Republican floor leader, to Michigan’s John Conyers Jr. , the liberal Democratic chairman of the Judiciary Committee. Some Democrats have even picked up on Paul’s rhetoric. “It’s time to yank the shroud off the Fed and shine some light on these events,” New York Democrat Edolphus Towns , chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said at a hearing last week about the shotgun marriage between Bank of America and Merrill Lynch last fall to stave off the latter’s collapse.

Paul’s efforts have only gained in political significance since the Obama administration unveiled its proposal to give the Fed new powers over the financial regulatory system.

The sentiment was certainly showing at Monday’s Nashville Tea Party protest.