Sen. Bob Corker, a recent critic of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy, introduced legislation Monday that could mean big changes for the nation's central bank if enacted.
Corker, a member of the Senate Banking Committee, teamed up with fellow committee member Sen. David Viter, R-La., to propose the Federal Reserve Single Mandate Act.
If passed, the bill would eliminate a portion of the Fed's so-called dual mandate—specifically to ensure maximum employment. The other component of the mandate requires the Fed to focus on stabilizing prices by managing inflation.
In the past, the former Chattanooga mayor has openly criticized Fed policy and Chairman Ben Bernanke, arguing that efforts to uphold the dual mandate have detracted from the role of Congress. He suggests lawmakers have become too dependent on policies such as the continuation of quantitative easing rather than focusing on the role they can play as legislators.
Last August, Corker penned a Financial Times op-ed titled "Bernanke Should Show Some Humility." At one point, the senator labels the chairman's current approach as "disturbing."
In a news release Monday, Corker said the goal of his bill was to provide the Fed with a "clear and explicit focus" that he hopes will result in better outcomes for the national economy.
“Providing the Fed with a clear and explicit focus on keeping inflation low will serve America better than the broad, bipolar mandate it has today," Corker said. "The dual mandate blurs the line between fiscal and monetary policy and allows Congress to shirk its responsibility to enact sound budgets and policies that produce economic growth. The best way to achieve full employment in the long run is to provide market certainty that long-term price stability will be maintained.”