House Financial Services Committee Approves Bills Including “CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act”
In a recent development, the House Financial Services Committee has given its stamp of approval to a number of bills, paving the way for them to move towards a floor vote. Among the bills selected for consideration is the “CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act” (HR 5402), which has been sponsored by Majority Whip Tom Emmer, a well-known advocate for digital assets.
This particular bill aims to prevent the Federal Reserve from directly or indirectly issuing a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) to individuals or holding accounts on their behalf. Furthermore, it explicitly prohibits the Secretary of the Treasury from instructing the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System to issue a CBDC. It also emphasizes that a CBDC can only be issued if authorized by Congress.
One of the other noteworthy bills that garnered committee approval is H.R. 5485, known as the “Financial Privacy Act of 2023.” The bill, proposed by Representative French Hill from Arkansas, seeks to safeguard the civil liberties and privacy rights of Americans. It accomplishes this by stipulating that an annual report must be submitted to Congress, detailing the data collected, retained, and disseminated by the Secretary of the Treasury under the Bank Secrecy Act.
The growing interest and discussion surrounding the potential implementation of a federal CBDC have raised concerns among policymakers. While proponents argue that fears over privacy are exaggerated, historical instances of governmental power abuse highlight the very real risks involved. The US Federal Reserve is currently conducting research on a potential CBDC, but no decision has been made yet regarding its issuance.
These bills, which have now cleared the House Financial Services Committee, represent significant steps towards addressing the implications of a digital currency issued by the government. As they progress towards a floor vote, their ultimate fate will greatly impact the path the United States takes regarding the development and regulation of digital assets.
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