Congressional proposals for changes to the Federal Reserve's authority, such as stripping it of supervision power, and its independence, including U.S. government audits of its policy decisions, were once considered extreme. In recent weeks, however, those ideas have gained momentum. "Change is coming," said Vincent Reinhart, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a former Fed official. "They would be better off accepting that and trying to manage the process rather than being defensive."

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