The US House Financial Services Committee passed a bill that would block the Federal Reserve Bank from issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC).
The CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act, introduced by Majority Whip Tom Emmer last week, is now headed for a congressional vote. Emmer, who says the bill already has the support of 60 members of Congress, praised the committee’s decision, saying there were dangers to the state having control over a CBDC and that it is incompatible with American values.
“If not open, permissionless, and private – just like cash – a central bank digital currency is nothing more than a CCP [Chinese Communist Party]-style surveillance tool that can be weaponized to oppress the American way of life,” he said.
The first anti-CBDC bill in the United States passed out of the Financial Services Committee today! A historical step in defending against an ever-expanding government surveillance state. https://t.co/1XXSEHOhNC
— Tom Emmer (@GOPMajorityWhip) September 20, 2023
Fed Not Close To Issuing A CBDC
The bill has provisions preventing the Federal Reserve from issuing a CBDC to individuals. It also blocks it from indirectly issuing a CBDC through an intermediary. The Fed will also be barred from using a CBDC to implement monetary policy.
Earlier this month, top Fed official Michael Barr implied that the Federal Reserve was not close to creating a CBDC. While investigations and research were underway, there was still a long way to go before a digital dollar was under development.
Barr said the Fed would only proceed with the issuance of a CBDC with clear support from the executive branch and authorizing legislation from Congress.
The Blockchain Association has supported Emmer’s bill, saying CBDCs pose major privacy concerns to Americans and could allow the government to track purchases and gather personal data on citizens.
CBDCs present major privacy concerns for everyday Americans, including granting the government the ability to track all purchases and collect intimate personal details on its citizens. The right to financial privacy is protected by the Constitution. We support the CBDC… https://t.co/IgwuQ1nxE2
— Blockchain Association (@BlockchainAssn) September 20, 2023
The US House Financial Services Committee Chair, Patrick McHenry, has also voiced his support for the anti-CBDC bill, saying he was “fighting to ensure the Fed does not sidestep Congress to issue a CBDC.”
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