Friday, September 25, 2009

Barney Frank and Ron Paul Opening Remarks at 'Audit the Fed' Hearings

I am following the hearings on the Ron Paul 'Audit the Fed' Bill (H.R. 1207). There were solid opening remarks by Ron Paul and Barney Frank. Paul countered most of the Fed's secrecy defenses, along the same manner I have done.

Barney Frank told an amazing history of how Republicans for decades blocked Paul from having these hearings. The history was a more detailed version of what the CQ Politics recently reported:
Long before he danced with the stars, then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay two-stepped all over fellow Texas Rep. Ron Paul’s hopes of overseeing the Federal Reserve, according to an account provided by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank .

In a broader interview with my colleagues Phil Mattingly and Benton Ives, Frank offered this assessment of how DeLay and other GOP leaders tiptoed around giving Paul — who wants to abolish the Fed — the gavel of the subcommittee with jurisdiction over it:

“In 2003, Ron Paul was in line to be chairman of the Domestic Monetary Policy Subcommittee of this committee. Specifically and solely to frustrate Ron from being the chairman, they merged the Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy with the Subcommittee on International Monetary Policy. Ron Paul then complained to Tom DeLay, and Tom DeLay told [then-Chairman Mike] Oxley [R-Ohio] ‘Don’t change it’ … [T]wo years later, even though they merged the two subcommittees in the progression, Ron was then again ready to be chairman, this time of the combined one. [Then-Rep. Deborah] Pryce [R-Ohio] was dragooned to come back and assert a subcommittee chairmanship … Ron at that point said to me, ‘I guess I have to wait for you to be chairman for me to have any authority around here.’ The Republican Party was a staunch defender of the Fed against Ron Paul.”

Paul and Frank share an interest in auditing the Fed, though neither Frank nor any other member of the House has signed onto Paul’s bill to repeal the Federal Reserve Act.

The general outlines of Frank’s account — though not DeLay’s hand — were confirmed by Republican sources. Paul said he didn’t recall DeLay’s involvement, but he acknowledged Republican leaders didn’t want him to have the subcommittee chairmanship.

“They just got rid of one” subcommittee, Paul said of the first time he was passed over. “They wouldn’t have enjoyed me being chairman.”

But Paul has a defender in the current top Republican on the Financial Services Committee, Rep. Spencer Bachus of Alabama, who appointed him to the leading spot on the subcommittee with Republicans in the minority.

“There are people who said ‘Is this the best thing to do?’ I felt like it was,” Bachus said. “I’m glad I appointed him. I have no regret.
What will happen now that the hearings on the bill are taking place? How much trouble will Paul have in keeping the 'Audit the Fed' Bill from being a feast for big government types to use for extending the intervention of government in the financial sector? My thought on this has changed somewhat by listening to this testimony. The timing for Paul to keep the bill focused on what Paul wants the bill to accomplish may work, in that there are huge discussions about reforming the financial sector anyway. Over recent months, the government intervetionists have developed other avenues to extend their interventions, without needing the 'Audit the Fed' bill as a tool to use for reform. Thus, advocacy for this bill, given the timing, may result in the 'Audit the Fed' bill getting focused on just where Paul wants the focus.

Both Finance Services chairman Barney Frank and Rep. Melvin L. Watt both commented this morning that the bill should be part of a larger reform package. This type of action is a double edged sword. In a larger bill, it most likely won't get as much focus, so Paul can keep it focused on what he wants, on the other hand, if someone else in Congress hooks on to it and wants changes, who knows how the 'Audit the Fed' bill will turn out. But, right now, I am a little more optimistic that the bill will accomplish want Paul wants it to--only because intervetionists now have other platforms from which to do their intervening.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, you poor saps! Kabuki theatre at it's finest. Not to denigrate Ron Paul one bit, Barney "I'll suck your dick" Frank, out there talking about those 'evil' republican obstructionists, is like the fucking Pot calling the Kettle 'black' here.

    Both parties are uselessly, beyond repair, CORRUPT TO THE MOTHERFUCKING CORE.

    so why all this brouhaha over more Kabuki bullshit theatre drama??


    are you guys on crack, or what? get the fuck real!