Senator Rand Paul, R-Ken., has confirmed that he intends to block the nomination of Janet Yellen as Chairman of the Federal Reserve unless the Senate votes on his bill to audit the central bank.
In a letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., on Tuesday, Paul said he would object to Senate consideration of Yellen's nomination without also considering legislation to bring transparency to the Fed.
"As the Senate debates the nomination of the next head of the Federal Reserve, there is no more appropriate time to provide Congress with additional oversight and scrutiny of the actions and decisions of the central bank," Paul wrote.
He added, "Therefore, I request that my bipartisan legislation, S. 209, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act, be scheduled for an up or down vote concurrently with the Yellen nomination."
Paul noted that a similar bill was approved by the House by a vote of 327 to 98 last year and suggested that Reid has also been a supporter of such legislation in the past.
A statement on Paul's website notes that the bill is similar to legislation long-championed by the senator's father, libertarian icon and former Congressman Ron Paul, R-Texas.
The bill would eliminate the current audit restrictions placed on the Government Accountability Office and mandate a complete audit of the Federal Reserve to be completed by a firm deadline.
Paul's letter to Reid confirms reports from last week that indicated the Kentucky Senator was considering putting a hold on Yellen's nomination.
Putting a hold on the nomination is a parliamentary maneuver that would require 60 votes in the Senate to break and move the nomination forward.
Earlier this month, President Barack Obama announced his nomination of Yellen to replace current Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, whose current term is due to expire in January.
by RTT Staff Writer
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