Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 13, 2015

Paul Vows to Slow Yellen Confirmation Over ‘Audit the Fed’ Vote

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If Senate Democrats want to speed up the process of reaching the Christmas break, they’ll have to allow a vote on an audit of the Federal Reserve.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., told reporters Tuesday morning that he has informed leadership he will insist on the Senate consuming the entire 30 hours of post-cloture debate on the nomination of Janet L. Yellen to be chairwoman of the Federal Reserve unless he receives his vote on an “Audit the Fed” plan.

“We’ll try and slow it down or stop it as much as we can. We’ve told them that we will allow it to move forward and expedite it if they will give us a vote on Audit the Fed,” Paul said, noting that he has been unable to secure a Senate vote despite past support in the House.

“I just came from talking with our leadership and I said, ‘I’ll be happy to get out of the way.’ I don’t particularly like Yellen and I’ll vote no, but the way the situation should work around here is holds and 30 hours of debate is something to be used as leverage to get something else that you want,” Paul said. “I’m not opposed to the president nominating his people. I disagree with almost all of them … but I’m not against the process of government moving forward, but it should be give-and-take. But right now there’s all take on one side.”

Paul has limited leverage except to slow down the process, particularly given the move by Democrats to effectively change the rules to prevent Republican from blocking nominees (though Yellen probably would’ve survived a debate-limiting vote either way).

The Federal Reserve chairmanship is one of 21 senior executive branch positions that still has 30 hours of debate allotted. Unlike in many other situations, the Democratic majority cannot yield back half of that time, and it will require unanimous consent to move the process along.

Late Monday, Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., filed debate-limiting motions on 10 nominees, including Yellen. Of the nominees on that list, only Yellen comes with the 30 hours of debate. She is now the most high-profile nominee Reid wants confirmed by Christmas.

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  1. Raylusk

    Dec. 17, 2013
    3:45 p.m.

    No Senator Paul the Senate rules shouldn’t be used to get your way on another subject. You are there to vote for our against a nominee. Nothing else. I will make sure everyone knows that you believe you should waste 30 hours because of your little tantrum.

    • Tocs704

      Dec. 17, 2013
      9:25 p.m.

      So you think it’s fine that the federal reserve robs our citizens of the value of their savings accounts and devalues our hard earned dollars by printing more money? They shouldn’t have to answer to the American people? That’s all Rand Paul wants, the truth about what’s going on behind the curtain of the worlds most powerful institution. I guess you’d rather protect the elite and super rich who run the fed.

      • Raylusk

        Dec. 17, 2013
        10:40 p.m.

        Of course I care. But I also don’t subscribe to the theory of getting your way at any cost. Just because Paul has suspicions about the Fed doesn’t make it right for him to use any trick he has to get his way. Of course you will notice that Paul claims to be opposed to almost all of Obama’s nominations. What that proves is he is playing partisan politics and that is all he is doing now. He doesn’t really care about an audit of the Fed he is just playing to the suckers in his base. If he really cared about America he would be demanding an audit of the Military but that would piss off too many of Paul’s defense contractor buddies.

        • Tocs704

          Dec. 17, 2013
          11:54 p.m.

          Actually, Paul has called for an audit of the pentagon and if you knew anything about him or his father, you’d know that auditing the fed has been one of their primary goals since taking office. Ron Paul’s bill to audit the fed passed the house with a large bipartisan majority that included 99 democrats. Yet you accuse Paul of playing partisan politics with something that clearly is a bi-partisan issue.

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