Rep. Patrick McHenry (R–N.C.), chair of the House Financial Services Committee, announced during the Consesus 2023 event that a new bill to regulate the crypto sector will be put together within the next two months. The legislation follows joint public hearings by the House Financial Services Committee and House Agriculture Committee, scheduled to start in May.
Securities and commodities issues addressed
The proposed bill will address both securities and commodities regimes and tackle issues that are difficult to resolve. Also, Rep. McHenry added that President Joe Biden has a good chance of signing the bill within the next 12 months, though he acknowledged the challenges of legislating something new.
Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) expressed optimism about coordinating efforts with McHenry and acknowledged that the House has a better chance of pushing legislation through before the Senate. Lummis emphasized the bipartisan nature of the subject, stating that it needs to be addressed before the 2024 election.
Sen. Lummis, also known as the Senate’s “Crypto Queen,” mentioned that an improved version of the bipartisan “Responsible Financial Innovation Act” she introduced last year with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) will be unveiled in six to eight weeks. The updated bill will feature stronger sections on national security and cybercrime.
Increasing pressure on Congress
As the deadlock between Republicans and Democrats persists, lawmakers face growing pressure to regulate the industry following recent events such as the FTX crypto exchange meltdown and the collapse in crypto banking. Rep. McHenry referred to these issues as “Operation Choke Point 2.0” and emphasized the need for legislation and clarity.
With the European Union approving the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) law and other jurisdictions, such as Japan and the United Arab Emirates, moving towards regulation, Sen. Lummis warned that the US is falling behind in the race to lead Web3 technology.