GOP Wants to Ban Fed From Creating Digital Currencies

( –  Most people in America have at least a passing knowledge of what cryptocurrency is, Bitcoin and Ethereum for example, and how they can be used. However, what President Joe Biden directed the Federal Reserve Bank to do by executive order in 2022 is to begin exploring a central bank digital currency (CBDC), which would become a computerized series of zeros and ones to replace the money one might carry in their wallets. 

Foreseeing potential overreach by the federal government in the future, several Republicans have sponsored bills in the House of Representatives aimed at staving off any erosion of the American people’s rights.

Not on Our Watch!

In a September 12 press release, Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-MN) announced that he, along with 50 cosponsors, would be reintroducing the CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act, which he had originally brought forth in February. He also wrote that Biden is working to create “a surveillance-style” program similar to that put forth by the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

There are two kinds of CBDCs. Wholesale concerns transfers among the Fed, banks, and other financial institutions. A retail version would be used by individuals for their everyday needs, rather than the paper bills currently employed, and it is this type that has Republicans concerned.

As Emmer’s statement explained, his legislation would prohibit “the Federal Reserve from issuing a CBDC directly to individuals [so that it] cannot mobilize itself into a retail bank able to collect personal financial data.” It would also forbid them from taking advantage of the country’s two-tier financial system to issue a digital currency for individuals “through an intermediary.”

On September 14, the Digital Assets Subcommittee of the Committee on Financial Services held a hearing to discuss Emmer’s proposal, as well as two other bills previously introduced to the House. Those were HR 3402 titled the Power of the Mint Act by Representative Jake Auchincloss (D-MA), an indicator of some bipartisan support, and HR 3712 titled the Digital Dollar Pilot Prevention Act, which was sponsored by Representative Alexander Mooney (R-WV).

The Auchincloss bill (which was co-introduced with representative J. French Hill (R-AR)) would bar the Fed and the Secretary of the Treasury from issuing any CBDC “absent congressional authorization.” The Mooney proposal (which was co-introduced with 14 other Republican congresspeople) would prohibit the central bank from carrying out any test programs without an Act of Congress, which would seem to be aimed directly at Biden’s executive order.

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