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Fed audit resolution reflects changes in SD House GOP politics

PIERRE — Republican ranks splintered Tuesday in the state House of Representatives over a resolution calling for Congress to order an audit of the Federal Reserve.

The Federal Reserve is a target of criticism from various parts of the Republican Party nationally. Those same beliefs were evident among some legislators Tuesday, as their debate took a serious tone for what is a non-binding statement.

The resolution was adopted 43-25.

The 17 Democrats and eight of the Republicans voted against it.

The Federal Reserve already is audited annually and the results are published as part of an annual report that is on the federal website, according to Rep. Ray Ring, D-Vermillion.

The Republicans who spoke for the resolution cited many of the same slogan-like lines, such as “The Federal Reserve is not federal and there are no reserves” spoken by Rep. Steve Hickey of Sioux Falls.

Prime sponsor of the resolution, HCR 1007, was Rep. Dan Kaiser, R-Aberdeen, who’s shown an interest in monetary issues during his two years as a legislator.

“They’re a private bank that operates in secrecy,” Kaiser said in his remarks opening the debate.

Kaiser, as is custom, received an opportunity at the end of the debate for a final response. He noted Ring’s comment that the Federal Reserve went to the edge of its authority in responding to the 2008 financial crisis.

“I want to know for sure if they acted within their legal bounds,” Kaiser said.

The Republicans who voted against the resolution were Lance Carson of Mitchell, Ann Hajek of Sioux Falls, Tim Johns of Lead, Mark Mickelson of Sioux Falls, Fred Romkema of Spearfish, Tona Rozum of Mitchell, Mike Stevens of Yankton and Dick Werner of Huron.

House members agreed 66-0 to support a resolution commemorating the addition of “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance. Its prime sponsor was Rep. Stace Nelson, R-Fulton.

Both resolutions now go to the Senate for consideration.