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Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

House bipartisan support for FIT21 should be a ‘wake-up call’ for the Senate, says McHenry

By Vaseline May31,2024

MOST IMPORTANT POINTS

  • He said the 279-136 passage of FIT21 is an important step “in these divided times”
  • McHenry also said some members of the Senate were “shocked” by the outcome of last week’s vote
  • SEC Chairman Gensler and the Biden administration have expressed their opposition to the bill

The House of Representatives has passed the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act (FIT21) passed last week by an overwhelming vote of 279 to 136, and for House Financial Services Committee Chairman Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., the milestone should be a “wake-up call” for the senators.

Speaking to Bloomberg TV on Thursday, McHenry revealed that he has heard from members of the Senate that “they were shocked by the wide margin that we passed this bill.” Notably, as many as 71 Democratic representatives helped pass the proposed legislation.

“The fact that we are passing that important bill – FIT21 – with a two-thirds majority of the representatives of the House of Representatives in these divided times is an important statement,” he said. “This should be a wake-up call to the Senate that they need to move forward with this,” he added. He also noted that the bill must be passed before the November elections.

He also provided more details about FIT21, describing it as “a legal structure for trading and owning digital assets,” and it “gives regulatory shape to something that currently has no regulatory shape.”

McHenry further revealed that he has been working with Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., regarding a possible “stablecoin policy.” However, the “Senate schedule” is what is keeping a bill on stablecoin policy from moving forward, he said.

The Republican lawmaker’s comments came as the cryptocurrency community waits for the Senate to vote on the proposed legislation. The Biden administration has said it “opposes” passage of the bill, arguing that FIT21 “in its current form does not provide sufficient protection for consumers and investors engaging in certain digital asset transactions.”

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Gary Gensler also expressed opposition to the bill, saying a regulatory framework would only “create new regulatory gaps and destroy decades of precedent regarding the supervision of investment contracts undermine.”

Several GOP supporters of the bill have previously explained the importance of having a regulatory framework that provides the cryptocurrency industry with clarity on how to handle their business.

House Majority Whip Tom Emmer of Minnesota said FIT21 paves the way to give Americans the “choice” of whether or not they need an “intermediary” for their financial transactions.

Meanwhile, other Democrats have also spoken about their opposition to the proposed bill. Representative Brad Sherman of California said digital assets are “hidden money” and create a “competitor to the US dollar.”

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