One result of November’s shellacking ver. 2.0 by the GOP is that Republicans will have the chance to order an audit of the Federal Reserve. One month after the 2014 election, the Federal Reserve posted a job offering for an “Emergency Preparedness Specialist” who would be responsible for the “Hazardous Materials Response Team (HMRT) training, equipment, and response program.”
Conservative lawmakers have become increasingly alarmed after witnessing years of what they perceive as risky maneuvers taken by the Federal Reserve System. The House has twice passed bills calling for a full audit of America’s central bank, only to see them stonewalled by then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada), according to The Washington Times.
All that may soon change. Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (D-Ky.) has already indicated that the measure providing for a full audit will be brought up to a floor vote, a prospect that appears to terrify Fed Chairwoman Janet L. Yellen.
“Back in 1978 Congress explicitly passed legislation to ensure that there would be no GAO [Government Accountability Office] audits of monetary policy decision-making, namely policy audits, Yellen told reporters at a press conference last month. “I certainly hope that will continue, and I will try to forcefully make the case for why that’s important.”
But 1978 was long before the Fed decided to maintain interest rates at artificially low levels, turning cautious seniors who rely on income from bonds and CDs into paupers.
And 1978 was long before the Fed began its practice of quantitative easing, a euphemism for printing money to pay off existing obligations.
The Times reported:
For supporters in Congress, the fight is a matter of constitutional prerogatives and good governance. They argue that President Obama’s 2009 Recovery Act, which totaled $800 billion in spending and tax cuts, was dwarfed by the trillions of dollars of stimulus the Federal Reserve oversaw.
In addition to Yellen’s promise to continue making her case against an audit, the Federal Reserve Board of Governors posted a job offering, and promoted the opportunity on its Twitter account, Fed Careers:
— Fed Careers (@Fed_Careers) December 2, 2014
The position is “Full Time” but “Temporary,” according to the offering, and calls for, in part, someone familiar with “Department of Homeland Security directives” and:
Responsible for upkeep and maintenance of the Board s Hazardous Materials Response Team (HMRT) training, equipment, and response program, and is responsible for coordinating operational emergency response efforts for the MGT Div.
The person it selects will be expected to coordinate with other federal and local agencies, including:
the Metropolitan Police Department (MDP), District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services (DC FEMS), Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Protective Service (FPS), Technical Support Working Group (TSWG) and Neighborhood Planning Committee (NPC).
So does the Fed’s solicitation of an “Emergency Preparedness Specialist” have anything to do with the GOP’s intention to audit that agency? I’m going to guess not, but still, one has to wonder — what use does the Fed have for someone familiar with hazardous materials response?
For those unfamiliar with quantitative easing, this cartoon provides a frighteningly humorous explanation. It was published when Ben Bernanke served as Fed chairman.