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Senate Dems Block a DeMint Amendment to Audit the Fed

July 7, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

As I’ve mentioned several times on this blog, Rep. Ron Paul [R, TX-14] has a bill in the House to audit the Federal reserve that has attracted 244 bipartisan co-sponsors, which is more than half of the entire House. The bill is significant for a couple of reasons. First, Paul, who is best known for opposing just about everything Congress does, rarely ever sees support from his colleagues for his legislation, let alone overwhelming and bipartisan support. Secondly, the Federal Reserve is notoriously secretive; it has successfully avoided government audits for the last 50 years.

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Barney Frank [D, MA-4] is tentatively supporting the bill and has indicated that there will be hearings. My guess is that the bill will even get a vote in the House before this session of Congress is through. But it’s prospects in the Senate are much, much dimmer.

Yesterday, Sen. Jim DeMint [R, SC] attempted to bring the bill to a vote in the Senate in the form of an amendment to the Legislative Branch Appropriations bill, but Sen. Ben Nelson [D, NE], likely acting on behalf of the Democratic leadership, blocked the amendment, citing a parliamentary rule banning legislation on appropriations bills. But, as Demint proceeded to point out, the underlying appropriations bill already contains several provisions that are undeniably legislative in nature.

Watch the video below. DeMint’s line of questioning and the answers he gets from the acting Senate President pro tempore make it clear that the amendment wasn’t blocked for parliamentary reasons, but because of its content:

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