Representative Tom Emmer has introduced legislation in the United States House of Representatives that could limit the Federal Reserve from issuing a central bank digital currency, or CBDC.
In a Feb. 22 announcement, Emmer said he had introduced the “CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act” in an apparent effort to protect Americans’ right to financial privacy. According to the Minnesota lawmaker, the bill could prohibit the Fed from issuing a digital dollar “directly to anyone,” bar the central bank from implementing monetary policy based on a CBDC, and require transparency for projects related to a digital dollar.
“Any digital version of the dollar must uphold our American values of privacy, individual sovereignty, and free market competitiveness,” said Emmer. “Anything less opens the door to the development of a dangerous surveillance tool.”
Today, I introduced the CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act to halt efforts of unelected bureaucrats in Washington, DC from stripping Americans of their right to financial privacy. 👇 pic.twitter.com/lONbHFZMk7
— Tom Emmer (@GOPMajorityWhip) February 22, 2023
If passed in both the House and Senate and signed into law by President Joe Biden, the bill would amend the Federal Reserve Act to limit the Fed’s authority with respect to CBDCs. Emmer is the Majority Whip for the House, where Republicans currently hold a majority of seats.
Many on social media lauded the bill as a step in the right direction. Bitcoiner Dan Held applauded Emmer’s actions, with others citing financial privacy as one of the reasons they supported the legislation.
Emmer introduced a similar bill in January 2022, during the last session of Congress when Republicans held a minority in the House. At the time, the U.S. lawmaker cited “China’s digital authoritarianism” in limiting the Fed’s authority on a digital dollar — China had announced its digital yuan would be available to foreign athletes at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and continues to move forward with the project.
During much of his recent time in office, Representative Emmer has been considered a crypto-friendly lawmaker calling for the government to scale back regulation in order to promote innovation in the industry. In December, he requested Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler appear before Congress to “answer questions about the cost of his regulatory failures.”