WASHINGTON – Federal Reserve Board Gov. Lael Brainard's contributions to Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign is drawing the ire of some members of Congress who already question federal regulators' political autonomy.
"If anyone had questions about the independence of the Federal Reserve, this makes it crystal clear they're not," Sen. David Vitter, R-La., said in a statement Wednesday.
It was first reported by Bloomberg News that the Obama nominee contributed $750 to Clinton's campaign between November and January. While the contributions may not have broken any Fed rules, members of Congress have accused the central bank of playing favorites and having political leanings in the past.
Additionally, members of Congress have often called for the central bank to be more transparent to assure that the agency acts in nonpartisan manner.
"The Fed needs to be independent, transparent and accountable," Vitter said, "but under its current structure, the Board of Governors doesn't act with complete autonomy and succumbs to groupthink which has led to megabank bailouts and easy money policies."
Vitter and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., proposed legislation last May that would require members of the Fed board to publicly record their vote on the resolution of enforcement actions over $1 million. The board is currently not required to vote on enforcement actions or settlements.