Rep. Tom Emmer reintroduces bill to prevent Federal Reserve from issuing CBDC

Rep. Tom Emmer reintroduces bill to prevent Federal Reserve from issuing CBDC

On Wednesday, Majority House Whip Representative Tom Emmer announced the reintroduction of a bill aimed at preventing the Federal Reserve from creating a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). This move comes ahead of a Thursday hearing in front of the House Financial Services Committee.

The bill, known as the “CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act,” was first proposed by Emmer in January 2022 and formally introduced to Congress in February 2023. The legislation targets the Federal Reserve’s potential issuance of a CBDC, which Emmer and his supporters argue could be used as a surveillance tool infringing on Americans’ right to financial privacy.

Emmer, along with 49 original co-sponsors, revived the bill on Tuesday, September 12, 2023. The Republican politician stated that President Biden is willing to compromise the American people’s right to financial privacy for a surveillance-style CBDC. He added that his legislation would ensure that the United States’ digital currency policy upholds values of privacy, individual sovereignty, and free-market competitiveness.

The bill specifically prohibits the Federal Reserve from issuing a CBDC to individuals and using any CBDC to implement monetary policy. Emmer asserts that this would prevent the central bank from transforming into a retail bank capable of collecting personal financial data.

In March 2023, Emmer had expressed concerns about the possible weaponization of money as the federal government seeks to maintain and expand financial control. His sentiments were echoed by U.S. presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in May 2023, who stated his opposition to CBDCs due to their potential for magnifying government power and stifling dissent.

President Joe Biden had signed an executive order in 2022 to explore the possibility of minting a CBDC. Following this, the Federal Reserve has been conducting pilot programs and studies to assess the viability of a CBDC, as noted by Republican Tennessee Representative Andy Ogles in July 2023.

The reintroduced bill has received support from Senators French Hill, Warren Davidson, and Mike Flood. Emmer emphasized that the legislation aims to ensure that the future of cryptocurrencies remains in the hands of the American people and not the administrative state.

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