Republican Lawmakers Pushing For Crypto Regulation With New House Subcommittee


As Republicans take control of the House of Representatives, they are forming a congressional group, which they say is the first of its kind because it will be focused on digital assets.

Congressman Patrick McHenry made the announcement on Thursday about the various subcommittees of the House Financial Services Committee.

It also included one on Digital Assets, Financial Technology, and Inclusion.

The new committee

McHenry said that how the committee is structured has a big hole because more resources are being spent on topics concerning the digital assets sector rather than the broader financial industry.

Congressman French Hill will chair the subcommittee, who was also named the vice-chairman of the full committee.

The purpose of the new panel is to provide federal regulators with rules for governing the ecosystem of digital assets and also help in developing policies that can promote financial innovation for underserved committees.

Hill said on Thursday that the financial sector is undergoing major change and technological advancement, which makes it their priority to promote responsible innovation and allow it to flourish in the US effectively and safely.

Crypto legislation

The formation of the panel comes at a time when there are a number of crypto-related legislation that are already at different stages of the legislative process.

This includes the Responsible Financial Innovation Act that was introduced by Senators Lummis and Gillibrand in the Senate last year in June.

The Stablecoin TRUST Act is another one that was introduced more recently by former Republic Senator Patrick Toomey.

Hill is also quite familiar with initiatives related to crypto policy, having co-sponsored a bill in 2021.

The said bill had required the potential evaluation of a US Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) by the Federal Reserve System’s Board of Governors and had been termed as ‘important work’.

The criticism

There has been a lot of criticism from some Republican lawmakers about how the digital assets industry has been handled by regulatory authorities in the US.

Congressman Tom Emmer is one of them, who has called out the SEC and its chair Gary Gensler for using the enforcement approach to regulate the crypto space.

It is expected that the Republicans will use the 118th Congress to provide the nascent asset class with regulatory clarity.

This objective is shared widely through the government halls and the entire financial sector. In December, McHenry had been selected as the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.

Back then, he had immediately stated that one of the areas they would focus on would be the digital assets ecosystem and would develop a comprehensive regulatory framework for it.

He was one of the numerous lawmakers who had directed a lot of criticism after the spectacular collapse of the FTX crypto exchange last year in November.

He argued that the crisis that reverberated throughout the crypto industry and impacted countless investors negatively could have been avoided if there was a solid regulatory framework in place.

He said that a framework that can protect American investors needs to be developed, while also leaving room for innovation.

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