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FameEX Hot Topics | House Passes Amendment Restricting SEC's Cryptocurrency Enforcement Powers

2023-11-10 16:16:20

In a significant move impacting the cryptocurrency sector, the U.S. House of Representatives recently passed an amendment to the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, aimed at curbing the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) enforcement authority over crypto-related activities. This amendment, spearheaded by Congressman Tom Emmer (R-MN), specifically prohibits the SEC from using its budget to enforce regulations on cryptocurrency transactions until Congress establishes clear regulatory guidelines.

Congressman Emmer, a vocal critic of SEC Chairman Gary Gensler, expressed his dissatisfaction with Gensler's leadership, labeling him as both ineffective and incompetent. He emphasized the need for Congress to hold these unelected officials accountable, asserting that his bipartisan amendment would rein in what he perceives as overreach by the SEC in the digital asset industry. This amendment reflects growing concerns among legislators about the SEC's approach to regulating the burgeoning cryptocurrency market.

The passed amendment forms part of HR 4664, the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act of 2024. It states, "None of the funds made available by this Act may be used by the Securities and Exchange Commission to carry out an enforcement action related to a crypto asset transaction." This directive reflects a broader push within Congress to establish legislative authority over the regulation of digital assets, rather than leaving it solely to the discretion of regulatory bodies like the SEC.

Congressman Emmer's amendment was not the only crypto-related change made to the Act. Two other amendments, also focused on digital currencies, were adopted. One, introduced by Congressman Warren Davidson (R-OH), prohibits the Department of the Treasury from using funds to develop or establish a central bank digital currency (CBDC) as legal tender. The other, from Congressman Alex Mooney (R-WV), blocks funding for the CBDC Working Group led by the Department of Treasury.

Congressman Davidson has even introduced a bill to remove Gensler from his position as SEC Chair. This criticism was echoed by Emmer in September when he accused Gensler of consolidating power at the expense of American financial opportunities and the country's financial future. Overall, these developments indicate a significant shift in the legislative approach to cryptocurrency regulation in the United States, signaling a desire for more direct Congressional involvement in establishing the framework for digital asset oversight.

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