The central bank's activities have come under heightened scrutiny ever since the financial crisis. Republican lawmakers have argued that the Fed's efforts to boost the economy via rock-bottom interest rates and two rounds of massive bond-buying known as "quantitative easing" are encouraging inflation. And members in both parties have expressed concern about the outsized role the Fed took on during the financial crisis, extending huge amounts of loans in a bid to keep the financial system afloat.
The Fed was previously audited by the Government Accountability Office under a provision of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. However, that survey was limited to just the Fed's actions during the financial crisis, which revealed the central bank loaned trillions to the world's largest financial institutions as Wall Street teetered.
Under Paul's bill, the entire operations of the Fed would be examined and publicized.