Big labor backs bill requiring Fed audit

Organized labor is throwing its muscle behind financial legislation requiring heightened audits of the Federal Reserve.


The AFL-CIO sent a letter to senators Friday urging them to support tougher audits. Andrew Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), signed a similar letter.

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersOvernight Health Care: DOJ charges doctors over illegal opioid prescriptions | Cummings accuses GOP of obstructing drug pricing probe | Sanders courts Republican voters with 'Medicare for All' | Dems probe funding of anti-abortion group Ex-Obama campaign manager: Sanders can't beat Trump Booker calls for sweeping voting rights reforms MORE (I-Vt.) is championing an amendment to broad financial legislation now under debate that would require additional audits of the central bank and require the Fed to disclose on its website all loans and assistance made during the Wall Street bailout. Sanders circulated the labor union letters on Saturday.

The Senate amendment follows Rep. Ron Paul's (R-Texas) high-profile push in the House to audit the Fed. Paul's amendment was part of financial legislation that passed the House in December; his measure in particular received broad bipartisan support, although the final vote on the underlying bill fell on party lines.

The Fed strongly opposes to the audit requirement, arguing that it would compromise the independence of the central bank as it sets monetary policy. The Obama administration and Democratic and Republican senators have expressed concern with the measure.

"When it comes to openness vs. secrecy, Wall Street vs. Main Street, taxpayers vs. the big bankers, I am sorry to say that the White House has come down on the wrong side,” Sanders said on Saturday.  “With growing support for this amendment from both the left and right, I hope that the administration reconsiders.”

Sanders and fellow supporters argue the amendment does not interfere with monetary policy.

Sanders is circulating his amendment, cosponsored by Sens. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.), Jim Demint (R-S.C.), Pat Leahy (D-Vt.), John McCainJohn Sidney McCainTrump gives nod to vulnerable GOP Sen. McSally with bill signing Democrats need a 'celebrity' candidate — and it's not Biden or Sanders Juan Williams: The high price of working for Trump MORE (R-Ariz.), Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenHillicon Valley: Washington preps for Mueller report | Barr to hold Thursday presser | Lawmakers dive into AI ethics | FCC chair moves to block China Mobile | Dem bill targets 'digital divide' | Microsoft denies request for facial recognition tech Lawmakers, tech set for clash over AI Overnight Energy: Collins receives more donations from Texas oil, gas industry than from Maine residents | Interior chief left meetings off schedule | Omar controversy jeopardizes Ocasio-Cortez trip to coal mine MORE (D-Ore.), Charles GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyTen post-Mueller questions that could turn the tables on Russia collusion investigators On The Money: Conservatives rally behind Moore for Fed | White House interviewing other candidates | Trump, Dems spar on Tax Day | Budget watchdogs bemoan 'debt denialism' GOP senators double down on demand for Clinton email probe documents MORE (R-Iowa), Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), David VitterDavid Bruce VitterBottom Line Bottom Line Top 5 races to watch in 2019 MORE (R-La.), Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerOnly four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates Hispanic civil rights icon endorses Harris for president California AG Becerra included in Bloomberg 50 list MORE (D-Calif.), Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerWe can accelerate a cure for Alzheimer's Senate panel opens investigation of FAA safety inspectors FAA faces questions about Boeing at two hearings MORE (R-Miss.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamWhy Ken Cuccinelli should be Trump's choice for DHS Ten post-Mueller questions that could turn the tables on Russia collusion investigators GOP senators double down on demand for Clinton email probe documents MORE (R-S.C.), Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchHatch warns 'dangerous' idea of court packing could hurt religious liberty Former Democratic aide pleads guilty to doxing GOP senators attending Kavanaugh hearing How do we prevent viral live streaming of New Zealand-style violence? MORE (R-Utah) and Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoSenate needs to stand up to Trump's Nixonian view of the Fed Senate bill seeks to bring freedom back to banking Cain's nomination faces uphill climb MORE (R-Idaho).