A bipartisan bill aimed at strengthening congressional oversight of the Federal Reserve and other financial regulators was introduced Friday in the Senate.
The Financial Regulators Transparency Act of 2022, introduced by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee, would subject regional Federal Reserve banks to the Freedom of Information Act; align the Fed with other large agencies by making its inspector general a presidential appointee; and prohibit all financial regulatory agencies from denying congressional requests for ethics-related information, according to a fact sheet.
"The Fed and regional Fed banks, despite being creatures of Congress, obstruct congressional oversight inquiries all too often," Mr. Toomey said in a news release. "In light of this persistent refusal to comply with reasonable requests for information from both Republicans and Democrats, I'm glad to join with Senator Warren in pursuing reforms that will compel these public institutions to be more transparent and accountable to the American people."
Added Ms. Warren in the same news release, "During the largest ethics scandal in the history of the Federal Reserve system, Fed officials have stonewalled the American people and slow-walked their representatives in Congress. This bipartisan bill is a necessary response to ensure that no financial regulators can ignore congressional oversight into ethics failures, and finally deliver more transparency and accountability for any wrongdoing."
In September 2021, Dallas Fed President and CEO Robert Kaplan and Boston Fed President and CEO Eric S. Rosengren announced their retirements after each of them faced criticism when their 2020 financial disclosures showed they held and traded financial assets while the Fed was actively supporting markets through the pandemic.
Ms. Warren has repeatedly called on Fed Chairman Jerome H. Powell to release additional information about the matter, but said the Fed has failed to adequately respond.
With only a few weeks in the congressional session, the bill is unlikely to move. Also, Mr. Toomey did not seek re-election in November and his term expires at the end of the year.