‘US government does not stand for freedom’: Bukele reacts to US bill passing Senate committee

The bill would direct federal agencies to scrutinize how El Salvador implements its Bitcoin law.

El Salvador president Nayib Bukele reacted to the news that the recently proposed Accountability for Cryptocurrency in El Salvador Act (ACES) had passed the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee and will now head to a full Senate vote. The 40-year old national leader responded emotionally on Twitter:

On Wednesday, March 23, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the bill, sponsored by Senators James Risch, Bill Cassidy and Bob Menendez. The committee granted a pass to S. 3666 (ACES) bill that is supposed to “mitigate risks related to El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender” and to S. 816, “legislation to recalibrate the State Department’s risk tolerance abroad”.

Related: El Salvador’s Bitcoin Law: Understanding alternatives to government intervention

The ACES legislation was first introduced on Feb. 16, 2022. Should the act secure the approval of the full Senate, it would require the federal government to assess the enactment of Bitcoin law in El Salvador and determine whether the nation can “mitigate the financial integrity and cyber security risks” and meet Financial Action Task Force (FATF) requirements. After 60 days of assessment, the agencies should come up with action plans.

Immediately after the introduction of the ACES bill in February, Bukele demanded that the U.S. “stay out” of El Salvador’s domestic affairs. “The U.S. government DOES NOT stand for freedom and that is a proven fact” — the Salvadoran leader claimed.

The date of the ACES vote in the U.S. Senate is yet to be determined.

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