Senate could vote to audit Federal Reserve on Tuesday

The Senate is likely to vote Tuesday morning on an amendment to financial overhaul legislation that would require an audit of the Federal Reserve. 

Senate Banking Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) pegged the vote on the amendment, offered by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Dodd signed onto the amendment after a compromise late last week, giving it greater potential for Senate approval. Several tweaks were made to ensure that Congress wouldn't get involved in monetary or interest rate policy. 

The amendment requires an audit of Federal Reserve assets taken on between December 2007 and enactment of the legislation. That audit would take about a year with a report set for delivery to Congress three months later by the General Accounting Office. 

Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), a co-author of a similar amendment in the House-passed financial reform measure, reiterated in a column Monday on his website that the Sanders amendment doesn't go far enough to reveal the totality of the Fed's actions. 

"A one-time disclosure now will not do us a lot of good down the road when the cycle repeats itself and friends of the Fed find themselves in trouble again," he wrote. 

Paul urged support for an amendment by Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), that is identical to what's included in the House-passed bill that will require "full disclosure and full accountability going forward." 

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