WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republicans in the
U.S. House of Representatives on Monday introduced a bill that would
require the Federal Reserve to disclose more information, and set a
hearing to discuss reform at the U.S. central bank.
The title of the hearing is "Legislation to Reform the Federal
Reserve on Its 100-year Anniversary," according to an announcement
by the U.S. House Financial Services Committee. The hearing was set
for Thursday, 10:00 am EST (1400 GMT).
The notice did not mention any specific legislation, but a memo sent
later by committee staffers said two Republican congressmen have
introduced H.R. 5018, known as the Federal Reserve Accountability
and Transparency Act.
The bill, sponsored by Representatives Bill Huizenga of Michigan and
Scott Garrett of New Jersey, would require the Fed to conduct
cost-benefit analysis when adopting new rules and require
transparency for Fed stress tests on banks and on international
regulations. The bill also would require the Fed to disclose the
salaries of highly paid employees, according to the memo, which was
obtained by Reuters.
House staffers said the bill will be discussed at the hearing on
The memo said the hearing would include economics professors John
Taylor of Stanford, Simon Johnson of the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology along with Mark Calabria of the Cato Institute and Hester
Peirce, of George Mason University.
Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling has pledged to demand more
transparency from the Fed.
Some politicians have criticized the central bank for its aggressive
actions after the financial crisis to lower unemployment and
stimulate the economy using unconventional tools such as a monthly
bond-buying program and building a balance sheet that now exceeds
A Federal Reserve Spokeswoman declined to comment on the upcoming
hearing. Republican lawmakers have grown more critical of the Fed
and the powers granted to it under the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial
reform law that was passed in response to the U.S. financial crisis
Congressman Scott Garrett, a New Jersey Republican, introduced
legislation this year that takes aim at the Financial Stability
Oversight Council (FSOC), created under Dodd-Frank to monitor
emerging systemic risks. The council comprises heads of the top
financial regulators including the Federal Reserve, and is chaired
by Treasury Secretary Jack Lew. The group can impose additional
regulations on any financial firms large enough that their failure
could destabilize the economy.
Garrett's bill contains a number of measures to make the council
Prior attempts to rein in the Fed include a 2012 proposal to subject
the central bank to audits, which sailed through the U.S. House of
Representatives. The legislation, written by Republican
representative Ron Paul, whose anti-Fed crusade prompted a
presidential bid and his grass-roots folk-hero status, was
re-introduced last year.
Texas Congressman Kevin Brady is also sponsoring a bill that aims to
strip the Fed of its low unemployment mandate, among other measures.
(Reporting by Michael Flaherty; Additional reporting by David
Lawder; Editing by James Dalgleish and David Gregorio)