Sanders defends changes to his amendment to audit the Federal Reserve

Changes to an amendment to require an audit of the Federal Reserve didn't alter the goal, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) told reporters Friday. 

Tweaks to ensure that Congress doesn't get involved in monetary policy or setting interest rates didn't change "the essence of what I want," Sanders said. 

The amendment to the financial regulatory reform bill would require an audit of the Federal Reserves assets taken on between December 2007 and enactment of the legislation. The audit would take about a year with a report to Congress by the General Accounting Office three months later. 

A vote could happen sometime Tuesday morning but Sanders said he didn't have any guarantees. 

Sanders said he was "disappointed" that Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) criticized the changes but insisted the Senate strengthened the amendment by requiring stricter disclosure rules than those included in a House-passed measure. 

While the changes attracted the support of Senate Banking Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), Sanders was uncertain whether he could get the support of 60 members, although the amendment's chances for survival certainly improved.  

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke strongly opposes the amendment. 

Sanders said he was hoping the White House had softened on its stance.