Minnesota Congressman Tom Emmer has introduced the CBDC Anti-Surveillance Act, which seeks to prevent the government from using the digital dollar as a tool for surveillance. Emmer believes that a CBDC could give the government unprecedented levels of control and surveillance capabilities, similar to what is seen in China.
He explains that the bill has three primary aims, including prohibiting the Fed from issuing a CBDC directly to anyone, barring the Fed from using a CBDC to implement monetary policy and control the economy, and requiring full transparency to Congress and US citizens for the Fed’s CBDC projects.
Emmer’s bill has received support from within the Republican party, with House Committee on Financial Services Vice-Chairman and newly appointed digital assets subcommittee Chairman French Hill being among the proponents of the proposed legislation. The senator has been an advocate for blockchain technology with American characteristics, as he believes it is crucial to prioritize this technology rather than mimicking China’s digital authoritarianism out of fear.
The Republican party, as a whole, has been supportive of the crypto sector, with many members advocating for a light-touch regulatory approach. Republican Senator Cynthia Lummis, for instance, is a vocal supporter of Bitcoin and has emphasized the need for the US to remain competitive in the digital asset space. In a recent interview, Lummis called for a “regulatory sandbox” to provide companies with the space to innovate and thrive in the crypto sector.
On the other hand, some Republican lawmakers have expressed concern about the potential risks associated with cryptocurrencies, particularly their use in illegal activities such as money laundering and terrorism financing. Some of these senators, including Mike Rounds and Kevin Cramer, have called for more regulation to address these concerns.
The US is lagging behind other countries in its CBDC plans, with only 17 countries running pilots and 11 having launched a central bank digital currency, according to the Atlantic Council CBDC tracker. While the US government has not yet announced any concrete plans for a digital dollar, there is ongoing debate and discussion surrounding the issue.
The crypto sector is a contentious issue in the US, with both Democrats and Republicans divided over how to regulate it. While some lawmakers believe in taking a hands-off approach to promote innovation and growth in the sector, others believe that greater regulation is necessary to protect consumers and prevent illicit activities. The issue remains unresolved, and it is unclear what the future holds for the crypto industry in the US.