NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Ron Paul wants to shine a light on America's gold reserves. The Republican presidential hopeful is sponsoring a bill, H.R. 1495, otherwise known as The Gold Reserve Transparency Act of 2011, that would direct the Treasury Department to document exactly what the United States has and what it's doing to protect it. Paul (R., Texas) is the chairman of the House Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology Subcommitte, and the panel held a hearing Thursday afternoon on the bill, which directs the Treasury Department to "conduct a full assay, inventory, and audit of federal gold reserves, including an analysis of the sufficiency of the measures taken for their security." "For far too long, the U.S. government has been less than transparent in releasing information relating to its gold holdings," Paul said in his opening statement, explaining that this lack of information has only created questions and given rise to theories like the bars of gold in Fort Knox are "actually gold-plated tungsten." Paul said the federal government has done little more than dismiss the theories and doubts that have cropped up over the years, and not provided substantive rebuttals. This has only clouded the issue further, he contended. "No one from Congress has been allowed to view the gold at Fort Knox in nearly 40 years," Paul stated. The witnesses slated to testify at Thursday's hearing were Gary Engel, the director of financial management and assurance at the Government Accountability Office; and Eric Thorson, the Treasury Department's inspector general. The bill was originally introduced by Paul on April 12, and it has no co-sponsors. Paul announced plans to seek the Republican nomination in the 2012 presidential election in mid-May. On Thursday, the Paul campaign announced that they had claimed top spot at the Straw Poll auction held by the Republican Party of Iowa. "The Ron Paul campaign is making a full push to be competitive all across Iowa," said Paul 2012 Iowa Campaign Chairman Drew Ivers. "Our campaign believes this includes the Iowa Straw Poll and we are delighted to place the winning bid for the best spot at the event." -- Written by Michael Baron in New York.