STATUS REPORT: Ron Paul's Audit the FED Act, HR 1207
HR 1207, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act is referred to Committee as Ron Paul's Campaign for Liberty focuses its efforts in generating a groundswell of support. So... uh... what happens next? by Jake Towne, the Champion of the Constitution
Thursday, May 7, 2009
This February, Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) introduced HR 1207, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009 to audit the FED. When I first reported on it in March, privately I was quite ecstatic that there were 11 co-sponsors, and three were Democrats. Why?
Well, Dr. Paul has tried this variants of this theme multiple times before over the past 30 years. For instance, HR 1148 was introduced in 1999 to abolish the Federal Reserve and obtained a whopping zero co-sponsors. This was repeated in HR 2755 in 2007. Result? Zero co-sponsors. Paul's new clever strategy has been to extremely limit the scope of the bill – just audit the books of the FED, nothing more – and has been able to tap into the wide-ranging dissatisfaction surrounding the October 2008 banker bailout, the Obama stimulus plan, and the outright socialization of our banking, auto, and insurance sectors.
It only takes half a brain and a pulse to get angry about the fact that the central bankers gave the American people the equivalent of a middle finger on Bloomberg's Freedom of Information Act request. The FED denied to disclose how they used $2 trillion dollars in open market operations that they executed outside of Congressional authority. Congress has no clue how the FED used the money either since that is not how the FED works. Without an audit, Congress also has no clue how much gold our nation owns. (photo)
So what's the big picture? Basically, the legislative process in Washington is usually as slow as molasses, and most bills die in committee with the obvious exceptions of very long lobbyist bills like the USA PATRIOT Act and urgent banker bailout-stimulus plans that no one in Congress admittedly even has time to read before voting on them. Ron Paul is a veteran legislator, and most of his bills this decade are quite short - HR 1207 is 446 words – and follows the K.I.S.S. Principle: Keep It Simple Stupid. Obviously he has not had a lot of success, but that's mostly been due to lack of cooperation.
In the case of HR 1207, Paul has chosen this battleground wisely - who wants to be on the "No" side with all of the popular sentiment against it? Campaign for Liberty and Liberty Maven, two sites that publish my articles, and many more like-minded sites have thrown all their momentum into winning this one small battle. Galvanized supporters have watched in awe as the number of co-sponsors rise from 11 to 33 to 88 to 143 at present, an impressive feat.
The New American recently quoted Austrian economist Thomas Woods's doubts as saying, "[The FED] is too complicated for most Americans. This isn’t going to galvanize people. I was wrong! He’s taken an issue that wasn’t even an issue, and he’s got a lot of Americans suddenly fascinated by the Fed, by monetary policy, by the Austrian business cycle theory." My thoughts are that Woods is severely underestimating both the number and intelligence of Paul's supporters, especially when it is so apparent our future prosperity as a society is at stake.
The fight to pass HR 1207 by the House is winnable. Even if it fails, the rEVOLution will have learned a very important fact – which of the Representatives on either the Financial Services committee or in the House itself can be viewed as domestic enemies.
Disdain for what the FED has done to the American people is one of the reasons I am running for Congress in Pennsylvania's 15th district, and also why I have contacted my current representative multiple times to co-sign HR 1207. I published my latest letter to him, and a reader asked the following questions. As a wanna-be Congressman, I thought I would take a shot at answering them!
Q: "What does it take to get this bill out of committee and on the floor of the House for a vote?"
A: The bill is currently in committee and must pass before a House vote can be called. It is possible the bill will be tabled, or die, while in committee. To pass, the committee must have quorum – the necessary amount of representatives present to vote on it. The exact number needed to obtain a quorum is determined by each committee. Passing requires a majority of those in attendance at committee before moving to a House vote where a simple majority is needed – this is democracy at work! This process is described here, see page 21/67.
Q: "How many co-sponsors does it need to force that? Or does that even matter?"
A: The number of co-sponsors does not matter. However, it does indicate the expected minimum support a bill will receive on the House floor, so is a key indicator while in committee. While bills are in committee, they can be marked up and amended, which is why the simplicity of Paul's bill is key.
Q: "Is it really a matter of getting Barney Frank to move it to the House for a vote? What's the process? Does anyone know?"
A: Representative Barney Frank, D-MA, is the chair of the Financial Services committee of 70 representatives. He has not co-signed the bill, and traditionally is allied closely with the banking special interests and the FED, so no cooperation can be expected from him. Several weeks ago, Frank spoke about Paul, HR 1207, and committee politics - while boldly proclaiming that there is no inflation.
It is my guess that Campaign for Liberty and Ron Paul will take their time to have their supporters keep banging away on their local representatives to rachet the number of co-sponsors higher. Over 200 would be impressive, to say the least. At this point, page 20/67 states:
"Three or more members of a standing committee may file with the committee a written request that the chairman call a special meeting... If the chairman does not call the requested special meeting within three calendar days after the filing of the request, to be held within seven calendar days after the filing of the request, a majority of the members of the committee may call the special meeting by filing with the committee written notice... "
Since there are already three co-signers, the first step can be completed at any time. However, I think it would be best to target the remaining 6 of 29 Republicans on the committee who have not co-signed and try to pick up more than one Democrat (the other 40 have not co-signed) before proceeding. These six possible Republican banker-buddies are located in the states of NJ, NY, CA, and PA and here is a downloadable interactive list. Supporters of HR 1207 should contact any red-listed member as a top-priority (see below).
Rely on sites like Campaign for Liberty and Liberty Maven to keep up with the current status. When the bill goes to committee, it will be time to melt the phone wires on the phones of those Financial Services members still in red.
HR 1207 is not just an audit of the FED, it is an audit of your local Representative!
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
As always, unlike the NFL, the author grants full permission to allow any accounts of, rebroadcasts, retransmissions, repostings in part or full of this article to your blog or anywhere else in order to promote the Restoration of our Republic.
Veritas numquam perit. Veritas odit moras. Veritas vincit. Truth never perishes. Truth hates delay. Truth conquers.
Tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito. Do not give in to evil but proceed ever more boldly against it.
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not sure if i've thrown this idea out or not on your site, jake, but what are your thoughts on the following. Again, my goal is to always be less reactionary and more proactive. Also, i believe the reserve is at the heart of most of what has rotted the constitutional foundation of this country (though that started even before we became a republic to varying extents). Moreover, I want central banking finished everywhere as much as possible (ok...so there's a little reactionary in me :) ).
with that said, I keep wondering if the reserve is being sacrificed by those at the top to give the people the feeling that they've won something. I'm figuring that they might need a national reserve less if they truly figure to transition into a multi-national regional framework (i.e. North American Union). So it makes me wonder if all this pressure to end the fed is really just a token offering of little consequence when the future monetary bureaucracy will be even less democratic (if that's possible), more akin to the ECB.
Posted By: Jake, the Champion of the Constitution
Date: 2009-05-07 06:47:17
My thoughts? Dangerous! :) Please understand the following is just my speculation....
I suppose this scenario could develop and it is possible. If the FED falls, that by itself means nothing unless it is replaced by a transparent and honest monetary system - which may consist of phases. In this way, the END THE FED movement must be insistent not only on bringing down the FED, but replacing it with an Austrian (my view) solution
Privately, I've surmised last year that Bernanke might easily become a sacrificial lamb to buy more time if necessary. The BoA/Lewis deal certainly wont help him.
I also speculate that the best person to replace him is a very bright guy, powerful FOMC member and Dallas FED governor Richard Fisher. In his speeches - unlike Bernanke- he is usually very honest about the economic situation and the facts I have doublechecked are correct. He also has a nagging habit about saying he does not speak for the FED, FOMC, etc when he talks. He is also fluent in Spanish, which would assist the Amero/NAU theory you mentioned.
Try reading these 2 speeches and note their dates if you want to see him from my perspective.
One excerpt - I disagree with it to some degree as he completely misses the fact that the mainstream media has been too ignorant and blind in the last decade. Note how he is very upfront in saying that the standard of living is going to drop big time, and he blames the American people for electing stupid politicians.
He is not completely off-base but..... hell, after returning to the USA I started watching Jon Stewart on Comedy Central to get decent news....
"Our short-term fiscal challenges are significant as we grope our way toward a future in which we begin to pay down the federal debt. The long-term challenge of entitlements is much more severe, with implications both for our own well-being and for the long-term strength of the global economy. Yes, we remain the biggest player on the global stage, but if we fail to get our fiscal house in order, we could bequeath our descendants unconscionable debt and slow the global economy to boot. Is that to be our legacy?
At face value, fiscal policy may not seem a concern for the Federal Reserve. Taxing and spending, after all, are not the Fed’s business. Congress holds the power of the purse. But the Fed cannot be an indifferent bystander to the overall thrust of fiscal policy. The reason is straightforward: Bad fiscal policy creates pressure for bad monetary policy. When fiscal policy gets out of whack, monetary authorities face pressure to monetize the debt, a cardinal sin in my mind.
I have spoken in previous speeches of our “faith-based currency,” a term I use only slightly tongue in cheek. The dollar—like the euro, the yen, the British pound and other currencies—is what economists call a fiat currency. It is backed only by the federal government’s power to raise the revenues needed to meet its obligations and by the rectitude of the U.S. central bank. If the market were to lose faith in either assumption, the dollar would be debased.
The Fed is not the answer to our fiscal woes. Remember, the executive proposes, and the legislative disposes. Congress, as keeper of the government’s purse and the sole body with the power to tax and spend the people’s money, is where the buck stops. Congress has the duty and the means to impose solutions to these imbalances, hopefully inspired by presidential leadership. And here is the rub: Voters like you elect the Congress. And you elect the president. You might chuckle at Sam Cohen’s answer to George Shultz’s question, but this is no laughing matter. Just as in the film From Here to Eternity, the lives of the cast of citizens of this great country are going to be dramatically altered by a calamitous development. The difference is that this one will come as no surprise; it is of our own making, and it is within our power to prevent. While we frolic in the surf of immediate economic prosperity and are consumed with all sorts of other political and economic melodramas and intrigues, we are being threatened not from some foreign enemy but from within.
History may place blame on this or that president or on Congress for failing to act. But, ultimately, the responsibility to solve these looming fiscal issues rests with voters. In the end, the person who is responsible for the $83.9 trillion meltdown that is happening before our very eyes—the person responsible for saddling each of your children and every other person you love with $280,000 in debt—is the one you look at in the mirror each morning.
There is a youtube video circulating where Barney Frank confirms that he promised Ron Paul a hearing on HR 1207. [link edited for length]
Note the party where Frank says that when RP had sufficient seniority to become head of the domestic monetary policy committeee, the GOP disbanded it, then brought it back a year later after first adding someone who had more seniority than RP. Frank was saying the Dems were more fair to RP than the GOP. However, he didn't sound like he thought HR 1207 would ultimately go somewhere.
thanks for the considered post, jake. i'm in the middle of finals..have two left one today and one tomorrow. i hope to do some more research and get back to you. as always good points. but i'll reply with something more substantial in the coming days.
Jake, I am impressed, particularly with your patience, but have a question. Apart from getting HR 1207 in front of potential co-sponsers, how are you and your supporters using local media? Politicians are more responsive once they see that lots of constituents are watching their actions [to see if they match their words].
I'd suggest we [including readers/followers of article. this try talk-back radio.
I contacted Rep Darrell Issa, (R), via his HOR contact form urging him to sign aboard as a cosponsor. Recieved a form-reply that was a non-answer telling me the bill is in committee and assuring me he'll, "keep my views in mind," when it comes up for a vote.
I drafted a reply that cookie-cutter replies without READING the voter's concern was unacceptable, just as a NON-ANSWER is unacceptable; not to sidestep the question with a status report on the bill and a noncommital, "I'll think about your views." The reply was rejected - that email address does not accept mail, only sends.
So I went back to the original form at his website, filled it all out and made the reply there, referencing his email reply the previous day -- with a note that I LOVED how complicated he has made it to dialog and discuss with his voting constituents, you know, the one's who PUT HIM IN OFFICE. Making us jump through hoops, gee, almost like... maybe he really does not want to dialog!!
The form crashed, never sent, "page is down for maintenence" (at 8:50AM on a weekday... maintenence?) Like they do not save all the contact info and if a voter tries to contact them on back-to-back days they do not have a system to inhibit that kind of inconvenent perseverence?
Had it. I voted for him every time he ran, but he has been mushy instead of a leader... no more. The revolution HAS to be across the board, LOCAL, COUNTY, STATE and FEDERAL.