Amendment To Audit Fed Could Get Vote Tuesday

Victoria McGrane
Dow Jones Newswires

WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- The U.S. Senate could vote as soon as Tuesday on a controversial amendment that would give the federal government more power to audit the secretive Federal Reserve, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said Monday.

Sanders (I., Vt.), the lead sponsor of the Fed audit measure, is pushing for early action on his amendment to sweeping financial-overhaul legislation. He said in floor remarks that he hopes to bring it up Tuesday.

The timing of consideration remains uncertain, however, as Senate Democratic leadership hasn’t decided on the timing of most amendments, congressional aides said.

Sanders’s Fed audit amendment will be one of the most closely watched of the financial-bill debate. The measure is one of the few to draw public pushback from the Obama administration, which argues that Sanders’s amendment would threaten the independence of the central bank.

The vote will be an early test of whether the Obama administration can protect its left flank as the bill moves through the Senate. Progressive Democrats in the Senate have lined up several populist amendments to the underlying bill that go farther than the administration supports. It will also signal the extent of populist anger in the country.

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