WASHINGTON -- House Banking Committee chairman Henry B. Gonzalez plans to introduce legislation to force the Fed to release transcripts of past monetary-policy meetings.
Rep. Gonzalez is also considering calling a new round of hearings on the Fed's record keeping of Federal Open Market Committee meetings, a member of his staff said Thursday.
In a letter to Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan Wednesday, the Texas Democrat rebuffed the central bank's proposal to release edited transcripts of Federal Open Market Committee meetings held between 1976 and 1993 five years after the meetings.
He called the plan "wholly inadequate" and reiterated his request that the Fed immediately hand over the meeting minutes.
"The FOMC members are greatly mistaken if they think the committee is satisfied with their offer to only release certain transcripts," Mr. Gonzalez said.
The banking committee chairman introduced legislation earlier aimed at requiring greater disclosure of monetary policy decisions.
But the existence of the Fed transcripts from meetings dating back to 1979 did not come to light until a hearing last month.
"After having held several hearings on this subject, I believe the committee is prepared to deal with this public accessibility issue in a more reasonable and logical manner than you have suggested," Mr. Gonzalez wrote. "I plan to introduce legislation to resolve this matter separately from H.R. 28."
On Tuesday, the Fed decided to release edited versions of the transcripts it has been storing since 1976, but not until five years after each meeting.
The first documents -- transcripts of 1988 meetings -- will be released early next year, Mr. Greenspan said in a letter to Mr. Gonzalez.
Edited transcripts of meetings for the 12 previous years will be released later.
The FOMC is also discussing a policy for releasing more thorough notes of future meetings, Mr. Greenspan said.
They will hold a special session next month to decide on its policy for future meetings.
In his letter, Mr. Greenspan said the committee was making these changes reluctantly.
"The committee is concerned that early release of these documents would sharply curtail the committee's ability to discuss freely and frankly evolving economic and financial market trends and alternative policy responses, which is essential to sound monetary policy," he wrote.