The “CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act,” designed to thwart the Federal Reserve’s efforts to introduce a central bank digital currency (CBDC), has made significant progress in its legislative journey. It recently cleared a crucial hurdle by passing the House Financial Services Committee. This move signals the bill’s increasing momentum and sets the stage for a congressional vote in the near future.
A Step Forward for the CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act
On September 20, the House Financial Services Committee approved the CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act, an initiative aimed at preventing the issuance of a CBDC by “unelected bureaucrats in Washington.” Representative Tom Emmer, the bill’s author, highlighted that it has already garnered support from 60 members of Congress. Emmer reiterated his concerns about state control over currency and its potential clash with American values, emphasizing the importance of an open, permissionless, and private digital economy.
Emmer, along with 49 original co-sponsors, reintroduced the CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act in the House of Representatives on September 14. Its initial introduction to Congress took place in February 2023.
Key Provisions of the Bill
The bill contains provisions that would prevent the Federal Reserve from issuing a CBDC to individuals and would also prohibit the Fed from using any CBDC for implementing monetary policy. This underscores the bill’s determination to maintain the status quo and resist the introduction of a government-controlled digital currency.
The Digital Asset Debate in US Politics
Representative Emmer has characterized digital assets as a “sleeper issue” in U.S. politics, both at the state and federal levels. He suggests that a generational gap exists in the United States, where tech-savvy residents may resist policies that stifle digital innovation, ultimately prompting lawmakers less knowledgeable about technology to reassess their positions.
The passage of the CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act by the House Financial Services Committee represents a significant development in the ongoing debate surrounding the potential introduction of a U.S. central bank digital currency. As the bill moves closer to a congressional vote, the discussion around the role of digital assets and government intervention in the financial sector continues to evolve. The outcome of this legislative process will undoubtedly have far-reaching implications for the future of digital currency in the United States.