Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) has said that cryptocurrency presents a “tremendous opportunity” to the US, and is a vocal opponent of CBDCs.
Tom Emmer, Republican Congressman for Minnesota and the current majority Whip, has entered the competitive bid for the vacant House Speaker role, CoinDesk reported on October 23.
An individual familiar with the matter said that Emmer was making calls for the Speaker on Friday.
The role of the House Speaker is a significant one in US politics. In the line of political hierarchy, the Speaker is effectively ‘third in line’, following the President and VP. The House Speaker presides over debate sessions, leads the majority party, shapes the legislative agenda by deciding which bills to prioritise, appoints committee members, and more.
The role has been vacant since early October, when previous speaker Kevin McCarthy was ousted.
As Speaker, Emmer could spell huge news for crypto
Emmer is co-chair of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus and is a vocal anti-CBDC advocate.
A central bank digital currency (CBDC) is a digital representation of a nation’s fiat currency. Unlike cryptocurrencies, which are decentralised, CBDCs are issued and regulated by a central governing body, such as a central bank.
On September 12, Emmer reintroduced a piece of legislation that aims to prevent the Federal Reserve and its banks from issuing a digital version of the dollar.
The legislation, known as the CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act, aims to “halt the efforts of unelected bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. from issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC) that dismantles Americans’ right to financial privacy”.
Emmer described CBDCs as “government-controlled programmable money” that have the potential to give the federal government the ability to surveil transactions and “choke out politically unpopular activity”.
On his official website, Emmer describes the emergence of crypto “presents a tremendous opportunity” for the USA. He said that blockchain tech could help “restore” American values of privacy, individual sovereignty and free markets.
As a member of the House Financial Services Committee, Emmer plans to “demand answers” from SEC chair Gary Gensler, as well as advocating for a clear, consistent regulatory landscape.
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