Following last-minute adjustments, a proposal to audit the Federal Reserve that the Obama administration once opposed was on the verge of passing the Senate as it attracted broad support from conservatives and liberals alike.
The administration withdrew its objections to the proposal Thursday, saying it was satisfied that the audit would not interfere with the Fed's authority to set monetary policy.
The one-time audit would focus on the Fed's emergency lending to financial institutions in the months leading up to and after the 2008 financial crisis. At its peak, at the end of 2008, the Fed's lending totaled $1.16 trillion.
The Fed has become one of the targets of public anger in the aftermath of the financial crisis, blamed for not seeing the meltdown coming and for having what some perceive as too cozy a relationship with the nation's largest institutions. The audit measure, proposed by Vermont independent Bernie Sanders, has populist support from across the political spectrum, from tea party activists to liberals and labor organizations.