The House Financial Services Committee has approved multiple bills, which may now move to a floor vote. Included in the roster of legislation is the “CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act” (HR 5402). Majority Whip Tom Emmer, a longtime digital asset supporter, sponsored this bill. The bill prevents the Federal Reserve from issuing a CBDC directly or indirectly to individuals or maintaining accounts on behalf of individuals. It also prohibits the Secretary of the Treasury from directing the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System to issue a CBDC and clarifies that a CBDC can only be issued pursuant to congressional authorization.
Several other bills of note were approved, including the following:
H.R. 5485, the “Financial Privacy Act of 2023,” offered by Rep. French Hill (AR-02), protects Americans’ civil liberties and privacy rights by requiring an annual report to Congress on data collected, retained, and disseminated by the Secretary of the Treasury under the Bank Secrecy Act.
Some policymakers worry about the potential for abuse with a digital currency issued by the federal government. While proponents claim privacy concerns are over-blown, past history of government abuse of power proves the risk is real. Currently, the US Federal Reserve is researching a CBDC with no decision on whether or not one will be issued.