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Senate Proceeding on May 11th, 2010 :: 0:33:05 to 0:43:09
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David Vitter

0:32:55 to 0:33:16( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: quorum call: mr. vitter: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from louisiana mr. vitter: madam president, if there is an ongoing quorum i ask consent that it be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. vitter: thank you, madam i amendment at the desk be called up. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from

David Vitter

0:33:05 to 0:43:09( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: David Vitter

David Vitter

0:33:17 to 0:33:38( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: louisiana, mr. vitter, proposes amendment number 3760 to amendment mr. vitter: madam president, i ask unanimous consent to waive reading of the whole. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. vitter: thank you, madam present. the presiding officer: the senator controls 20 minutes. mr. vitter: thank you, madam president. i'd ask the president's notification after 15 minutes

David Vitter

0:33:39 to 0:33:59( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: have been used. the presiding officer: the senator will be notified. mr. vitter: thank you, madam president. madam president, i call up vitter amendment number 3760, which is verbatim, word for word, the ron paul language that was added to the house bill in

David Vitter

0:34:00 to 0:34:21( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: committee by a strong bipartisan vote. and in doing so, madam president, i also ask unanimous consent to add the following senators as coauthors: senator demint, grassley, hatch, mccain, bunning, crapo, and risch. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. vitter: here on the senate side, i have

David Vitter

0:34:22 to 0:34:43( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: been a strong cosponsor and supporter of s. 604 and sanders' amendment on this bill. iresent this different amendment because senator sanders decided to modify his amendment late last week, and i thought there was a continuing need to have this language

David Vitter

0:34:44 to 0:35:05( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: exactly as it now appears in the house bill as it was included in the house bill by a strong bipartisan vote in house committee. first of all, madam president, let me say that i support the sanders amendment. i will volt for it. it is a very -- i will vote for it. it is a very important and

David Vitter

0:35:06 to 0:35:28( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: useful look in the rear-view mirror, if you will. a onetime audit of significant federal reserve activity, particularly in 2008 and 2009. and i welcome madam president, that should not be the end of the matter and it should not be recognized as all we need because it clearly isn't.

David Vitter

0:35:29 to 0:35:50( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: we need to look back in the rear-view mirror as those important events. that was a very significant period. but we also need to look forward, because these events and these debates and?chese opportunities for bailouts and other action continue. and so the vitter amendment addresses that, a look forward

David Vitter

0:35:51 to 0:36:13( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: as well as that important onetime look back. madam president, if we needed any reason to think we need this ability to connue to look forward and look at the detailed provisions of fed activity, it's in the news right now. absolutely right now in terms of

David Vitter

0:36:14 to 0:36:35( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: the greek and european economic crisis. although chairman bernanke assured congress in recent testimony that -- quote -- "we have no plans to be involved i any foreign bailouts or anything of that sort," very recently, in the last few days, the fed has announced the opening of

David Vitter

0:36:36 to 0:36:57( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: significant facilities to central banks in europe that certainly involve it, at least at the margin, in that activity. madam president, i don't know enough about those recent deals and currency exchange swaps to comment on whether they are a good idea or a bad idea or to

David Vitter

0:36:58 to 0:37:21( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: coent a clear conclusion about the extent to which they put u.s. taxpayers at risk. but clearly, madam president, they're a significant event. clearly there is significant action of the fed. and clearly they are a perfect and very, very recent example of why we need to look at what the

David Vitter

0:37:22 to 0:37:43( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: fed is doing on an ongoing basis in detail. with greece and portugal and spain all possibly on the cusp of the financial crisis with this significant decision of the fed, we must go beyond the sanders amendment. we must look forward and not just one time back to eure the

David Vitter

0:37:44 to 0:38:05( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: american people that we all know what our federal reserve is doing and exactly why it's doing it. so this amendment, this vitter amendment, madam president, does that. it brings real reform and accountability to the federal reserve. and that's essential, given the historic, major actions the fed

David Vitter

0:38:06 to 0:38:29( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: has undertaken in the last few years and continues to announce even as we speak activities that were not, would not be covered by the sanders amendment. madam president, there's been a lot of rhetoric about all of the evil and dangerous things my amendment would do at the fed.

David Vitter

0:38:30 to 0:38:52( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: and let me directly address and dispel these notions. first of all, madam president, there's been a lot of suggestion that this will politicize individu decisions, that this will have individual members of congress bringing undue influence on those decisions. madam president, i truly think there are enormous protections

David Vitter

0:38:53 to 0:39:15( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: in this amendment that will clearly avoid that. let's start, madam president, with the clear language of the amendment. quote -- "nothing in this subsection shall be construed as interference in or dictation of monetary poly to reserve system by congress or

David Vitter

0:39:16 to 0:39:38( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: the government accountability office." close quote. a very khraoerbgs very broad -- a very clear, very broad, very strong statement. madam president, the amendment clearly goes even further. the other specific language of the amendment is very careful to ensure that the audits that the amendment will require will not include unreleased transcripts

David Vitter

0:39:39 to 0:40:00( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: or minutes of meetings of the federal reserve board of governors or of the federal open markets committee. and in addition to the extent that any audit deals with an individual market action like a change in interest rates, the audit will only be released 180 daysfter the action occurs.

David Vitter

0:40:01 to 0:40:21( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: so, madam president, if this is an attempt for any members of congress, any individuals to contl individual decisions to have a direct impact on an individual decision like an interest rate decision, it's a pretty dumb, ineffective way to do it because the audit won't be out for half a year.

David Vitter

0:40:22 to 0:40:42( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: clearly it will have no impact on that cleay, under these protections, the federal reserve will still operate monetary policy independently, but it's reasonable that those actions, after an appropriate lag of time in some cases will be

David Vitter

0:40:43 to 0:41:03( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: transparent, will be fully understandable and fully open to the american people and to congress. again, madam president, i think it's very important to dispel these notions that are flying about that are just untrue. i've talked to chairman bernanke several times about these

David Vitter

0:41:04 to 0:41:26( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: proposals. always invariably his stated concern is the opportunity for an audit to try to impact an individual decision like an interest rate decision. we've addressed that very directly in the way of explain. in addition, the g.a.o. cannot

David Vitter

0:41:27 to 0:41:49( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: review many actions like discount window lending, direct loans to financial institutions, open market operations, any other transactions made under the direction of the federal open marke committee. g.a.o. also, under the clear terms of this amendme look into the fed's transactions with foreign governments.

David Vitter

0:41:50 to 0:42:11( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: this, again, is plenty of protection against the concerns enunciated prior to this debate and vote. madam president, what this really comes down to is do the american people deserve full information about federal reserve

David Vitter

0:42:12 to 0:42:33( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: this beyond the capability of congress and the american people to digest? you know, in federal reserve board minutes that were only recently released -- these minutes go back to 2004 -- alan greenspan said this -- quote -- "we run the risk by laying out the pros and cons of a

David Vitter

0:42:34 to 0:42:55( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: particular argument, of inducing people to join in on the debate. and in this regard, it is possible to lose control of a process that only we fully understand." close quote. madam president, somewhat amazing to me, but that is a verbatim direct quote.

David Vitter

0:42:56 to 0:43:09( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: and more than any statistic, more than any other quote, more than any fact, that direct quote is about what this debate and what this amendment is about.

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