Senate backs one-time audit of Fed bailout role

The Federal Reserve building is seen with the Washington Monument and U.S. Capitol in the background in Washington November 24, 2009. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Senate on Tuesday approved a proposal to examine the Federal Reserve’s role in the Wall Street bailouts of 2008-2009 as part of a broad financial regulation reform bill.

The proposal from independent Senator Bernie Sanders would order congressional investigators to conduct a single audit of the U.S. central bank’s use of its emergency lending authority since December 2007. It would require the Fed by December 1 to disclose which banks received its help.

It passed by a vote of 96 to 0.

The Senate was next expected to consider a more stringent measure, opposed by the Fed, that would subject the central bank to ongoing congressional audits.

Reporting by Andy Sullivan and Kevin Drawbaugh, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama