Federal Reserve critic Ron Paul wants to end the Fed and have a gold standard, but realistically that won't be on the agenda any time soon. However, Republicans will soon have another way to criticize the Fed and its response to the economic crisis. Rep. Kevin Brady wants to strip the Fed of it's dual mandate and focus only on fighting inflation:
Representative Kevin Brady, vice chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, said in a statement his "Sound Dollar Act" aims to "maintain the purchasing power of the dollar in order to foster long-term economic growth and stability." He plans to formally introduce it in early March....
The Fed's aggressive actions to fight stubbornly high unemployment rates in recent years have been seen by some as straying into fiscal policy - traditionally the responsibility of Congress - and Brady's bill aims to clear up any confusion by stripping the Fed of its jobs mandate.
Many central banks, including the European Central Bank, focus singularly on inflation in their policy decisions.
While the legislation is unlikely to pass both the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and the Democrat-controlled Senate during a hotly contested election year, it could provide a new rallying point for the Fed's critics in Congress.
I'm sympathetic to arguments for the Fed to have a single and clear mandate. The problem with conservatives who want the Fed to only focus on price stability is that in practice they tend to be terrified by the threat of inflation, but are less worried about the risks of deflation.