Federal Reserve HeadquartersPhoto credit: Dan Smith
Federal Reserve Headquarters
Photo credit: Dan Smith (CC-by-SA 2.5)

The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3189, the Fed Oversight Reform and Modernization (FORM) Act of 2015 on Thursday morning. The bill passed on a 241-185 that was a mostly party-line vote.  Among Iowa’s Congressional delegation Republican Congressmen Rod Blum, Steve King and David Young voted yes, Congressman Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa) voted against the bill.  The bill was sponsored by Congressman Bill Huizenga (R-Michigan).

The bill “amends the Federal Reserve Act to establish requirements for policy rules and blackout periods of the Federal Open Market Committee, to establish requirements for certain activities of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and to amend title 31, United States Code, to reform the manner in which the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System is audited, and for other purposes.”

It would require greater transparency of the Federal Reserve and give Congress greater oversight of its activity.

“The Federal Oversight Reform and Modernization Act — very much including Chairman Kevin Brady’s (R-Texas) Centennial Monetary Commission legislation — is the most important legislation to pass the House addressing the Fed’s performance since the Humphrey-Hawkins Act of 1978, almost forty years ago. The passage of this legislation is historic,” Ralph Benko, senior economic advisor with American Principles Project said in a released statement.

“The American economy has been stagnant now for 15 years. Many believe that the booms, busts, the panic of 2008, the Great Recession, and the sluggish recovery were caused in major part by bad Federal Reserve monetary policy. Congress should be applauded for exercising its constitutional authority in this area. The Freedom Caucus should give Speaker Ryan a standing ovation,” Benko added.

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