‘Dangerous?’ Rand Paul fires back at biz lobby

Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) office fired back Tuesday at the Chamber of Commerce, after it criticized the senator’s threat to block President Obama's nominees to the Federal Reserve.

"Transparency at the Federal Reserve is not dangerous to the economy. To the contrary, mandating transparency will hold the Federal Reserve accountable," an aide to Paul said.

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Paul, who could mount a run for the presidency in 2016, has taken the place of his father, former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), as one of the leading critics of the Federal Reserve in Congress.

He is throwing his weight around as the Senate moves to take up Obama's nominations of Stanley Fischer to be Fed vice chairman and Lael Brainard and Jerome Powell to be members of the Fed’s board.

Paul said last week he would oppose floor consideration of the nominees to drum up support for his Audit the Fed bill, which would bring additional congressional oversight to the central bank.

Fed officials, including Chairwoman Janet Yellen, oppose the proposal, arguing that it could politicize the bank and limit its independence.

The Chamber of Commerce's deputy chief economist J.D. Foster on Tuesday pushed Paul to allow the Senate to consider the Fed nominees.

“The Federal Reserve is short-handed, and that could be dangerous to the economy," Foster wrote. "Senator Paul should make his point, and then allow the ­Senate to work its will.”

Foster added: "Senator Paul should continue to raise questions about the Fed, just as he should remove his procedural block to the Fed nominations now under consideration."