Tom Emmer, The United States House of Representatives Majority Leader and cryptocurrency advocate claims that digital assets have become a “latent issue” in US politics at both the state and federal levels.
Speaking to Cointelegraph at the Permissionless II conference in Austin, Texas, on September 11, Emmer said that certain candidates running for office in 2024 may be underestimating the impact of issues surrounding cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. He cited concerns about financial privacy, specifically mentioning government oversight of central bank-issued digital currencies (CBDCs).
“He is politically powerful, regardless of his political beliefs” Emmer said. “Democrats, Republicans and others believe that your personal information should be yours and that you decide when to share it.”
According to Emmer, there is a generational gap in the United States where residents may resist policies that potentially hinder the digital space, thereby “exposing” technologically ignorant lawmakers. At least three candidates from both major U.S. political parties have publicly taken stances on CBDCs for the 2024 presidential election.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican who is running second in polls behind former President Donald Trump, promised in July to ban CBDCs in the United States if his campaign is successful. In May, he signed a Florida bill aimed at broadly banning the use of a government-issued digital dollar in the state. Other leading candidates who have taken an anti-CBDC stance include Republican Vivek Ramaswamy and Democrat Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
“We have a number of laws and regulations that dictate when you have to disclose and what you have to disclose, but it shouldn’t just be a blanket statement (about CBDCs),” Emmer said. “(The US government) can create a central bank digital currency if it is open, permissionless and private. It should mimic cash.”
Emmer has once again introduced a bill that aims to restrict the Federal Reserve from issuing a CBDC in the United States. He also supported a change in Securities and Exchange Commission appropriations allocations that could limit the commission’s ability to take enforcement actions against cryptocurrency companies.
On September 20, the House Financial Services Committee will meet for a voting session on the Digital Dollar Pilot Prevention Act, a law that could prohibit the Federal Reserve from launching CBDC pilot programs without congressional approval. The committee discussed CBDCs for the first time since Congress recessed in August at a hearing on September 14.