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No politician has been more closely associated with the populist assault on the Fed over the last few decades than Dr. Ron Paul, the libertarian-leaning Republican congressman from Texas. So when Paul came out hard on Thursday night against a compromise amendment negotiated by Sen. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), proponents of Fed transparency had good reason to worry that the Fed had gutted the effort. It didn't look any better when the compromise was backed by Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and the Treasury Department -- both well known to be active opponents of Paul's audit amendment.
"Any time you find out Senator Chris Dodd is in support of something -- watch out," read a hastily prepared action alert blasted out by Paul's organization, Campaign for Liberty, as word of the compromise got out. "According to our sources on the Hill, Senator Bernie Sanders caved to pressure from the White House and Chris Dodd and stripped out the Paul-Grayson language from his Fed transparency amendment."
Paul himself piled on. "I'm not a bit surprised that the Federal Reserve got to the Senate. I had expected Bernie Sanders to offer S 604, which was the same as HR 1207, which is the Audit the Fed Bill, and at the last minute he switched it and watered it down, and really, it adds nothing.