Maine GOP: Collins signs on as ‘Audit the Fed’ cosponsor

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins has signed on as a cosponsor of legislation that would allow Congress to audit the Federal Reserve, according to the Maine Republican Party.

Collins recently agreed to cosponsor the Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2011, which was introduced by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. In the House, Paul’s father, former presidential candidate and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, has spearheaded efforts to allow Congress to audit the Federal Reserve.

“I agree that stronger oversight and greater transparency of the Federal Reserve are crucial, given the fact that decisions made by the Fed have such a tremendous effect on our economy,” Collins said in a statement.

U.S. Reps. Chellie Pingree and Mike Michaud, both Democrats, have also supported the Federal Reserve audit measure in the House.

The “Audit the Fed” initiative is an important issue for a vocal segment of the Maine GOP that supported Ron Paul for president, took over the party’s spring convention and elected a slate of Paul-supporting delegates to the GOP’s national convention in Tampa, Fla.

That segment of the Maine GOP was at odds with the party’s leadership throughout the summer as the Paul delegates unsuccessfully tried to fight back a challenge filed with the Republican National Committee alleging illegal votes at the state’s party convention.

Ultimately, half of the Paul-supporting delegates lost their seats, depriving Paul of a majority of votes from the Maine delegation.

Updated, 8:20 a.m. to add information about Michaud and Pingree.