WASHINGTON — House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling is planning to push legislation that would rein in the Federal Reserve Board.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, the Texas Republican says he aims to move "in fairly short order" to introduce a central bank reform bill.
Hensarling's comments follow a heated hearing on Wednesday with Fed Chair Janet Yellen, who was pressed by lawmakers who questioned the agency's transparency and own internal controls.
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby included elements restructuring the Fed in his regulatory relief legislation, but Hensarling said "we are moving that separately."
Hensarling declined to provide details on how he planned to restructure the Fed, but said it would be similar to a bill offered last year by Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J., that would increase Congressional oversight of the central bank. Garrett's Federal Reserve Accountability and Transparency Act would require the Fed to conduct cost-benefit analysis when it adopts new rules and force it to reveal more information about its bank-run stress tests and international regulatory negotiations.
"I think you will find the core to be similar," Hensarling said, but added "there will be modifications and expansions."
Separately, Hensarling said he still hopes housing finance reform can be enacted, though he acknowledged it was unlikely to happen before a new administration takes office.
He said there are active discussions taking place between Republican lawmakers at a "high level" with the Obama Administration on housing finance reform and that "there may be some modest, modest progress in housing finance reform."
"I thought there was an opportunity in the last Congress to do the heavy lift I do not believe that opportunity exists in this Congress," Hensarling said. "But I think there are a couple of small items within that issue portfolio that we can work on. We are exploring those now."