Ryan Grim reports that a bipartisan group of Senators is backing an amendment that will restore the Grayson-Paul “audit the fed” language to the Senate Financial Reform bill after Chris Dodd gutted it.

An amendment by Bernie Sanders would restore the teeth of the Paul-Grayson language, and he’s joined by Republicans John McCain (Ariz.), Jim DeMint (S.C.), David Vitter (La.) and Sam Brownback (Kan.), as well as Russ Feingold and chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Sen. Pat Leahy (D-Vt.).

“The group is actively gathering cosponsors as the Senate continues to vote to break a GOP filibuster which is preventing debate from beginning,” writes Grim.

Last year, FDL circulated a letter signed by Richard Trumka, Andy Stern, Leo Gerard, Bill Black, Tyler Durden, Dean Baker and Jamie Galbraith in support of the Grayson-Paul language. Campaign for America’s Future also circulated a letter signed by Robert Borosage, Adam Green (PCCCO), Matt Kibbee (Freedomworks), Grover Norquist, Robert Weisman (Public Citizen), Chris Bowers and Ryan Alexander (Taxpayers for Common Sense) in support of Grayson-Paul.

Dodd has long been promoting the need for secrecy at the Fed.  Marcy Wheeler and I asked him last year if, as Chairman of the Banking Committee, he knew what entities the Fed had loaned money to and how much they had loaned.  Dodd said he did not know, but that he would find out.

Dodd subsequently sent a letter to the Fed asking them why he shouldn’t know these things, and they sent him a press release about why the Fed needed to operate in secret which he forwarded to me.  The relationship between the Fed and the Senators charged with oversight was never  clearer.

But Dodd is retiring and won’t have to face the voters this fall. Blanche Lincoln, Barbara Boxer, Michael Bennet, Harry Reid, Richard Burr, Kirsten Gillibrand, Patty Murray, Arlen Specter, Richard Shelby, Lisa Murkowski, Johnny Isakson, Chuck Grassley, Tom Coburn and Bob Bennett most certainly will.  It will be interesting to see whether they try to hold the Fed to account, or capitulate with an eye toward campaign contributions.

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