H. R. 4270
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
November 7, 2017
Mr. Barr introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Financial Services
To amend the Federal Reserve Act to ensure transparency in the conduct of monetary policy, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Monetary Policy Transparency and Accountability Act of 2017.
Monetary policy transparency and accountability
Section 12A of the Federal Reserve Act (12 U.S.C. 263) is amended—
by redesignating subsections (b) and (c) as subsections (d) and (e), respectively; and
by inserting after subsection (a) the following new subsections:
Monetary policy strategy
The Committee shall annually establish exactly 1 monetary policy strategy, which shall serve as a non-technical public communication of the Committee’s consensus expectation for the conduct of monetary policy during that calendar year.
Each monetary policy strategy of the Committee shall include the following:
A plain English description of how the Committee would adjust each of the following monetary policy instruments in reaction to changes in a small and well-defined set of publicly available economic indicators:
Short-term interest rate targets established by the Committee.
Open-market operations authorized under section 14.
Earnings on balances maintained at a Federal reserve bank by or on behalf of a depository institution under section 19(b)(12).
An identification of 1 monetary policy instrument from the list in clause (i) that the Committee expects to use as the primary instrument for implementing the monetary policy strategy described under subparagraph (A).
Reference monetary policy rules
In addition to the monetary policy strategy required under paragraph (1), the Committee shall annually adopt at least 1 and not more than 3 reference monetary policy rules, each of which shall mathematically express how the primary monetary policy instrument identified under paragraph (1)(B)(ii) reacts to changes in a small and well-defined set of publicly available economic indicators.
Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prevent the Committee from setting short-term interest rate targets, conducting open-market operations, or paying earnings on balances pursuant to section 19(b)(12) in a manner that deviates from a monetary policy strategy or any reference monetary policy rules established under this subsection.
Testimony and reports of the Chairman
The Chairman shall, concurrent with each semi-annual hearing required under section 2B, submit a report to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Banking and Financial Services of the House of Representatives, containing—
a statement as to whether the monetary policy strategy established under subsection (b)(1) qualitatively differs from any of the reference monetary policy rules required under subsection (b)(2) and, if applicable, a full and non-technical explanation of any such difference;
a statement as to whether the Committee’s conduct of monetary policy since the previous report quantitatively differs from any reference monetary policy rule and, if applicable, a full and non-technical explanation of any such differences; and
a description of—
the circumstances under which the Committee’s monetary policy strategy may be amended from year to year; and
a full and non-technical explanation of any such actual amendment.