Friday, December 10, 2010

Ron Paul, Author of ‘End the Fed,’ to Lead Fed Panel (Update2)

Ron Paul, Author of 'End the Fed,' to Lead Fed Panel

Dec. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Representative Ron Paul, Texas Republican and
author of "End the Fed," will take control of the House
subcommittee that oversees the Federal Reserve.

House Financial Services chairman-elect Spencer Bachus, an Alabama
Republican, selected Paul, 75, to lead the panel's domestic monetary
policy subcommittee when their party takes the House majority next
month, the committee chairman said today.

"This is the leadership team that crafted the first comprehensive
financial reform bill to put an end to the bailouts, wind down the
taxpayer funding of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and enforce a strong
audit of the Federal Reserve," Bachus said in a statement.

Paul, in an interview last week, said he plans a slate of hearings on
U.S. monetary policy and will restart his push for a full audit of the
Fed's functions.

"We are ready to hit the ground running, and I look forward to
continuing our work in the next Congress," Bachus said.

Paul, who has introduced legislation to abolish the Fed, became
nationally known during his 2008 presidential campaign. His campaign
to audit the Fed picked up steam as the central bank deployed
trillions of dollars in emergency loans in the midst of the worst
financial crisis since the Great Depression. Paul's bill gained the
support of 320 of 435 members of the House and a portion of the
measure ended up in the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory overhaul
enacted this year.

Attacks on Bernanke

Paul's assignment comes as the Republican Party has stepped up
attacks on Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and the central bank in the
wake of the Nov. 3 announcement that it would buy bonds in an attempt
to bring down unemployment and prevent inflation.

"Congress must act to rein in Chairman Bernanke and the Fed before
they destroy our currency and permanently damage our economy and
financial system," Senator Jim Bunning, a Kentucky Republican, said
in his farewell speech on the Senate floor today. "Public awareness
of what the Fed is doing is increasing while public opinion of the Fed
is falling."

Bunning's views are reflected throughout the country, according to a
Bloomberg National Poll that reveals deep skepticism about the Fed.

Americans across the political spectrum say the central bank
shouldn't retain its current structure of independence, according to
the poll. Asked if the central bank should be more accountable to
Congress, left independent or abolished entirely, 39 percent said it
should be held more accountable and 16 percent that it should be
abolished. Thirty-seven percent favor the status quo.

Other Subcommittees

Paul, who has been passed up twice before for the subcommittee
chairmanship, may cause a problem for Republicans who have
traditionally defended the central bank, Representative Barney Frank,
the outgoing chairman of the Financial Services Committee, said today
in a Bloomberg Television interview.

"I think you're going to see a significant dispute within the
Republican Party," said Frank, who was re-appointed by his party as
the senior Democrat on the committee. "I do not believe that Ron
Paul's views on the Fed represent the views of most Republicans."

Bachus will keep the senior Republicans on the panel in leadership
positions. Representative Jeb Hensarling of Texas will take over as
the panel's vice chairman, replacing fellow Texas Republican Randy
Neugebauer, who moves over to lead the oversight and investigations

Representative Scott Garrett of New Jersey will become chairman of the
capital markets panel, which would oversee any work done on government-
owned mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Representatives
Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Judy Biggert of Illinois
will take over the financial institutions and housing subcommittees,
respectively. Representative Gary Miller of California will take over
as chairman of the international monetary policy panel.

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