Federal Reserve chief huddles with Senate Dems

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet YellenJanet Louise YellenWhite House touts Nobel economists' support for Biden agenda Joe Manchin is wrong — we can't afford not to invest in our children The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - What do Manchin and Sinema want? MORE is meeting Thursday with Senate Democrats.

The meeting comes a day after Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSenate lawmakers let frustration show with Blinken Rand Paul: 'Hatred for Trump' blocking research into ivermectin as COVID-19 treatment Masks and vaccines: What price freedom? MORE (R-Ky.) reintroduced legislation that would require a full audit by the Government Accountability Office for the Fed.

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Yellen has repeatedly opposed such legislation and said in December she would “forcefully” argue against another audit bill in 2015.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) told reporters earlier Thursday he would hold hearings on Paul's Audit the Fed legislation, despite him not being a co-sponsor on the bill. 

“I want to make sure that what we do is the right thing. We don't want to run the Fed, but I do believe that the Fed — especially with the portfolio that is has — we need to know what they're doing."

He said that he will "absolutely" have a Banking Committee hearing on the idea and that he "might" end up supporting Paul's bill.

"I support the concept," Shelby told reporters.

Paul already has some heavy-hitters onboard with the Fed legislation, including Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who are potential rivals for the White House in 2016. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is also a sponsor.

Yellen and the Fed are separately debating whether and when to raise interest rates. No rate hike was announced at the Fed’s meeting this week.

— This story was updated at 1:36 p.m.