WASHINGTON - House Banking Committee Chairman Henry Gonzalez, D-Texas, said yesterday he will offer legislation next year that would make the Federal Reserve Bank presidents who set monetary policy subject to Senate confirmation.

Currently, bank presidents serve on the 12-member Federal Open Market Committee, the Fed's policy arm, on a rotating basis. There are 12 Federal Reserve District presidents, and five serve at a time on the committee.

Under current law, only the seven members of the Federal Reserve Board who sit on the FOMC are subject to Senate confirmation.

Gonzalez also said he will seek to require prompt release of the FOMC minutes and audit of all Fed operations by the congressional General Accounting Office. Hearings on the proposals will be held once the 103rd Congress convenes, Gonzalez said in a statement.

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