Two senior US lawmakers are proposing bipartisan legislation to set up a new Senate-approved watchdog post at the Federal Reserve in the wake of the dramatic collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.
Republican Senator Rick Scott of Florida is pitching legislation to set up “a presidentially appointed and Senate-confirmed inspector general to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection,” his office said in a statement Wednesday.
Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts endorsed Scott’s bill. She had signed on to the idea as part of a separate bipartisan package she and then-Senator Pat Toomey, a Pennsylvania Republican, proposed last year.
“The recent bank collapses and regulatory failures by the Fed have underscored the urgent need for a truly independent inspector general to hold Fed officials accountable for any lapses or wrongdoing,” Warren said in Wednesday’s statement.
Scott, who floated the idea several days ago, said in the statement that it was “outrageous” that the Fed “does not have a truly independent inspector general to investigate it.”
The US central bank is facing scrutiny over whether it should have prevented the bank collapse, and whether changes made to loosen oversight of banks had contributed to the situation.
Chair Jerome Powell has announced the Fed would be conducting an internal review of its supervision and regulation of SVB, led by Vice Chair for Supervision Michael Barr. The results will be publicly released by May 1.
–With assistance from Steven T. Dennis.