Perhaps it was a farewell gesture to Ron Paul, who, after serving in Congress three different times and running for president three times, is retiring at age 76.
The House finally approved legislation long sought by the libertarian Republican calling for a comprehensive audit of the Federal Reserve and its 12 regional banks.
Paul has been a longtime proponent of dismantling the central bank.
Basically, the Fed is in charge of the nations monetary policy, playing a central role in controlling the money supply and setting interest rates and keeping the dollar competitive against other currencies.
Pauls measure easily passed, 327-98, but the Senate, even though Ron Pauls son, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., introduced a companion measure, is unlikely to take it up this year.
The Fed is already subject to a number of annual audits and the minutes of the deliberations of its board of governors are a matter of public record, although on a delayed basis.
The Fed doesnt object generally to the audit, but it objects vehemently to audits that would demand documents by Fed policymakers on the pros and cons of supporting changes in interest rates, decisions that affect everything from home mortgages to car loans to savings accounts.
Chairman Ben Bernanke said it would be a nightmare scenario that could open up the Feds deliberations to political interference from Congress and the White House. Being able to open a spigot of cash would be a powerful political tool but one dangerous to the health of the economy.
However far the bill goes, Congress must ensure nothing jeopardizes the Feds independence or is even seen as an encroachment on its impartiality.