View Full Version : Sen Cantwell's (WA) response to my cosponsor request

12-10-2009, 04:57 PM
This is better than the last response i received, but she's still not willing to cosponsor as far as i can tell

Thank you for contacting me regarding your concerns about the Federal Reserve. I appreciate hearing from you on this issue.

As you may know, the Federal Reserve Sunshine Act of 2009 (S. 604), the Senate version of H.R. 1207, was introduced by Senator Bernard Sanders on March 16, 2009. This bill, if enacted, would revise the manner in which the Comptroller of the United States audits the Federal Reserve System. The bill is currently pending in the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

I am assessing closely proposals like this one and will work with my colleagues to craft legislative proposals that will ensure the stability of our financial institutions and our financial markets. We are experiencing unprecedented turmoil in our economy and I believe that we can best help our markets by fostering a transparent and open evaluation of all the financial players. I appreciate your thoughts and will keep them in mind as these issues are considered by the U.S. Senate.

Congress created the Federal Reserve System in 1913 to serve as the central bank for the United States. The Federal Reserve formulates the nation's monetary policy, supervises and regulates banks, and provides a variety of financial services to depository financial institutions and the federal government. The System comprises three major components, the Board of Governors, a network of 12 Federal Reserve Banks, and member banks.

The Federal Reserve Board is responsible for determining the United States' monetary policy in a manner that fosters a stable, sound, and competitive economy. In doing so, it must balance several goals - the need for economic output and efficiency, low inflation, and low unemployment.

Congress created the Federal Reserve as an independent agency to enable the central bank to carry out its responsibilities protected from excessive political and private pressures. At the same time, by law and practice, the Federal Reserve is accountable to Congress. The seven members of the board are appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. Congress routinely monitors the Federal Reserve System through formal and informal oversight activities.

The Federal Banking Agency Audit Act (P.L. 95-320) of 1978 gives the Government Accountability Office (GAO) the authority to audit the Board of Governors, the Reserve Banks, and branches. In addition, Congress is responsible for oversight of the Fed's monetary policy operations, foreign transactions, and the FOMC operations, which is done by requiring semi-annual monetary policy reports that are delivered at public hearings. While Congress does have significant influence on the Federal Reserve, Congress has no active role in its monetary policy decisions.

Thank you again for contacting me to share your thoughts on this matter. You may also be interested in signing up for periodic updates for Washington state residents. If you are interested in subscribing to this update, please visit my website at http://cantwell.senate.gov. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance.

Maria Cantwell
United States Senator