Tom Emmer, a representative for Minnesota in the United States House of Representatives, has proposed a piece of legislation that, if passed, would prevent the Federal Reserve from launching a central bank digital currency, also known as CBDC.
In a statement made on February 22, Representative Emmer said that he had sponsored the “CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act” in what seemed to be an attempt to preserve the right to financial privacy held by the people of the United States. The legislator from Minnesota claims that the measure has the potential to prevent the Federal Reserve from issuing a digital dollar “directly to anybody,” prevent the central bank from basing monetary policy on a CBDC, and mandate transparency for initiatives relating to digital dollars.
According to Emmer, “Any digital version of the currency must respect our American principles of privacy, individual sovereignty, and free market competitiveness.” (Any digital version of the dollar must uphold our American values.) “If we settle for anything less than this, we are inviting the creation of a harmful monitoring instrument.”
The law was praised by a significant number of people on social media for being a step in the right direction. Dan Held, a Bitcoiner, praised Emmer’s efforts, while other supporters of the law cited the protection of their financial privacy as one of the reasons they backed the proposal.
In January 2022, during the last session of Congress in which Republicans had a minority position in the House, Emmer submitted a measure with almost identical language. The lawmaker from the United States cited “China’s digital authoritarianism” as the reason for limiting the Fed’s authority on a digital dollar at the time. At the time, China had announced that its digital yuan would be available to foreign athletes competing in the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, and the country continues to move forward with the project.
Representative Emmer has been regarded a crypto-friendly legislator for a significant portion of his recent tenure in office, during which he has been asking for the government to pull down regulation in order to stimulate innovation within the sector. In December, he sent a request to the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Gary Gensler, asking him to testify in front of Congress to “address questions regarding the consequences of his regulatory failures.”