WASHINGTON Sens. David Vitter, R-La., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., introduced legislation Thursday that would make several changes to the Federal Reserve Board and its powers.
The Fed Accountability Act would give board members individual staff to conduct additional analyses, instead of having to share a single staff that is directed by the chair. The bill would also require governors to sign off on settlements and enforcement actions over $1 million through a public vote.
"The Fed needs to be independent, transparent and accountable. But under its current structure, the Board of Governors doesn't act with complete autonomy and succumbs to groupthink," Vitter said in a press release.
The lawmakers, who hail from opposite ends of the political spectrum, indicated in the release that they are also working on "legislation to further halt megabank bailouts during a crisis." Press reports suggest that Warren and Vitter are collaborating on a measure to rein in the Fed's emergency lending powers.
These efforts come as the Senate Banking Committee, under Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., prepares a sweeping regulatory relief bill for a vote later this month. It's possible the measures by Vitter and Warren could come up for debate, along with other Fed reforms.