* Expects wide support for "audit the Fed" bill
* "Undecided" on another bid for White House
(Adds Paul comments, background, byline)
By Kevin Drawbaugh
WASHINGTON, Jan 27 A world currency crisis
awaits if the U.S. Congress and the White House do not balance
the federal budget soon and that appears unlikely,
Representative Ron Paul said in an interview on Thursday.
The iconoclastic Texas Republican also told Reuters he
expects wide support for a bill he has reintroduced in the U.S.
House of Representatives to allow greatly expanded scrutiny of
the Federal Reserve by Congress' investigative wing.
Paul was recently named chairman of the House domestic
monetary policy subcommittee that oversees that issue.
He said President Barack Obama's remarks on the deficit,
expected to hit $1.48 trillion this year, in his State of the
Union speech "was a lot of the same old stuff."
As for his fellow Republicans and the deficit problem, Paul
said, "They had their chance and didn't do much."
"I think the deficit is going to continue to grow," Paul
said. "I am anticipating that we will have a dollar currency
crisis that's going to be worldwide and the world will be
forced to have monetary reform, and we're getting closer to
that all the time."
He said he was "undecided" on whether he will run again for
president, an office he has twice sought unsuccessfully. Rand
Paul, Paul's son, was elected to the Senate last year from
Kentucky. Both father and son are prominent figures in the
conservative Tea Party movement.
Paul cuts an unusual figure in U.S. politics. The
75-year-old obstetrician is a libertarian with strong views
about monetary policy, the gold standard and the Federal
Reserve. He collides often with Democrats and Republicans.
He told The Dallas Morning News this week that he was
considering running for the Senate.
He has reintroduced legislation in the House calling for a
full audit by Congress' Government Accountability Office of the
Federal Reserve to be reported to Congress by the end of 2012.
Rand Paul has introduced a companion bill in the Senate.
The House version has 55 co-sponsors, mostly Republicans
but also some Democrats. No Republican leaders have signed on,
but House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus
has, and Paul said that is a promising sign.
He said he expects the measure to appeal to newly elected
House Republicans swept into office by the Tea Party movement.
"We should get a lot of them on. It's hard to beat what we
did last year because we had every single Republican in the
House and a bunch of Democrats. I think the momentum is still
there. People want transparency," he said.
He said he assumes the bill, with Bachus' support, will
come to a vote at the full financial services committee level.
Approval would send it to the House floor. "It will always have
more trouble in the Senate," he said.
On the deficit, he said, "It's just going to get worse
because some things are just out of control. Republicans won't
touch the military and the other side can't stand the idea of
any welfare being cut ... Interest rates will be going up."
He acknowledged that bond markets, with yields low and
demand still strong for U.S. Treasuries, show little or no sign
of worrying about a global economic disaster.
"That is true," he said. "One reason is other countries
have it as bad if not worse.
"We are the reserve currency. That gives us a special
status. We're still the military power of the world and that
has been known to convey confidence in a currency when it's
undeserving. Things could change rather quickly.
"That's why the odds are about 99 percent that we'll have a
currency crisis before we come to our senses. Then we'll have
to do something. We'll have to have monetary reform."