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Key Vote Alert: Vote YES on H.R. 4763 and Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act and H.R. 5493 CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act

May 21, 2024 by AFP

Dear Representative,

On behalf of Americans for Prosperity, the nation’s largest grassroots organization, we urge you to support H.R. 4763, Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act, sponsored by Representative Glenn Thompson and H.R. 5403, CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act, sponsored by Representative Tom Emmer. The Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act will introduce a detailed regulatory framework for the digital asset sector, aimed at bolstering investor protection, ensuring market fairness, and aiding capital formation. The CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act will prevent the establishment of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) that can be offered directly to individuals or through the banking system itself.

For decades, Congress has gradually given broad authority to regulatory agencies to not only carry out the law, but also to write it. This has created an imbalance of power in an otherwise balanced system. Granting broad power to create legally binding restrictions and requirements means that Americans often end up with public policy that they don’t support and that stands in the way of economic prosperity. Agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have overly broad and vague authorities, and for far too long, Congress has been willing to cede their authority to the SEC when it comes to enforcement and implementation of statute.

To date, the Securities Exchange Commission has taken an inconsistent approach to the digital asset economy, at times simply failing to provide regulatory clarity and more recently, demonstrating outright hostility toward cryptocurrencies. The FIT for the 21st Century Act will limit the opportunity for continued abuse of the authorities afforded to this regulator by creating a framework that directs both the Securities Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission on how to set up a critical distinction between a “restricted digital asset” and a “digital commodity”.

The legislation also sets up a process for broker-dealers, trading systems, exchanges, clearing agencies and custodians to register with both agencies while providing a critical clarification that decentralized protocols are fundamentally different and require different treatment. This is important to ensuring the decentralized protocols don’t get burdened with regulations that do not comport with their intended purpose. Overall, this is a step in the right direction towards providing much needed clarity for the growing digital assets sector of our economy.

The CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act prevents the establishment of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) offered directly to individuals or through the banking system. A government owned digital currency would ultimately undermine private investment and use cases for privately owned digital currencies. Furthermore, a government-owned digital currency presents many privacy questions surrounding government access to sensitive information on Americans, such as the government potentially monitoring and tracking every financial transaction. On principle, creation of a CBDC represents a massive expansion of government control over the economy, and it would trample on individuals’ rights. As such, we support this effort to prevent the government from issuing a CBDC.

It is for these reasons we urge you to support H.R. 4763, Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act and H.R. 5403, the CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act. These votes may be recorded in our legislative scorecard.

Sincerely,

Brent Gardner

Chief Government Affairs Officer

Americans for Prosperity

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