WASHINGTON — The Senate approved an amendment to its budget resolution requiring the Federal Reserve to disclose the financial institutions to which it has lent taxpayer funds as part of efforts to stabilize the financial markets, and how much it lent to each.
The amendment marks the latest effort by Sen. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., to require the Fed to make public its financial support activities, through which it has spent $2.2 trillion.
"I would just ask my colleagues to consider 10 words: the American people deserve to know where their money went," said Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., another sponsor of the amendment.
Senators also approved a separate amendment which would have required the central bank to disclose more generic information about how much it has lent and to what type of institution, but wouldn't have required the Fed to name individual banks.
But the Sanders amendment in effect takes precedence over that measure because it requires greater disclosure of information.
The changes were made as the Senate continues its week-long consideration of its $3.53 trillion budget resolution.
Two Republican amendments were defeated — one by Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., which would have requiredmeans testing of drug benefits under the Medicare program that Ensign said would have saved the Treasury $3 billion a year.
The second was an effort by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., to substitute the Democratic budget with his own. It would have spent $600 billion less over five years.
The Senate is working toward completion of its budget framework either later Thursday or early Friday.
In the House, lawmakers are debating that chamber's version of the budget. Lawmakers will consider four alternatives of the budget before voting on the Democratic majority's later Thursday.