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A proposal from a long-time congressional foe of the Federal Reserve that could give lawmakers sway over monetary policy has won the support of a majority in the House of Representatives, alarming officials at the U.S. central bank.
The Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009, put forward by Republican Representative Ron Paul of Texas, now has 250 co-sponsors in the House. It will get air-time on Thursday during a congressional hearing on Fed independence that will feature testimony from the Fed's No. 2 official, Donald Kohn.
Public anger over the trillion dollars the Fed has put into play to battle the financial crisis and bail out investment bank Bear Stearns and insurer American International Group has created a backlash and calls for more accountability.
A proposal from President Barack Obama to put the Fed in charge of monitoring risks to the entire financial system has intensified the scrutiny.