US lawmaker revives bill to safeguard financial privacy amid CBDC concerns


  • Rep. Tom Emmer reintroduces anti-CBDC bill to Congress.
  • The primary goal of this legislation, as stated by its proponents, is to safeguard Americans’ right to financial privacy.
  • The legislation prohibits the central bank from using any CBDC to implement monetary policy.

Representative Tom Emmer has reintroduced legislation in the United States House of Representatives aimed at preventing what he describes as “unelected bureaucrats in Washington” from issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC). This move, undertaken on September 12, sees Emmer and 49 original co-sponsors revive the “CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act.” The primary goal of this legislation, as stated by its proponents, is to safeguard Americans’ right to financial privacy.

In a statement, Emmer, a Republican, emphasized the concerns around potential infringements on financial privacy, stating that the Biden administration appeared willing to compromise this right in exchange for a surveillance-style CBDC. Emmer’s legislation seeks to establish a framework that checks the power of unelected officials and ensures that any CBDC policy aligns with core American values such as privacy, individual sovereignty, and free-market competitiveness.

The genesis of this bill can be traced back to January 2022 when Emmer first proposed it to address the emerging concept of CBDCs. It was subsequently formally introduced to Congress in February 2023. At its core, the legislation aims to place limitations on the Federal Reserve’s ability to create a programmable digital dollar, which Emmer contends could become a potent surveillance tool detrimental to the American way of life. Specifically, the bill prohibits the Federal Reserve from distributing CBDCs to individuals, a provision designed to prevent it from evolving into a retail bank capable of collecting and storing personal financial data.

US CBDC bill

Another critical aspect of the legislation is its prohibition on the central bank using any CBDC to implement monetary policy. Emmer argues that CBDCs should not be employed as tools for monetary policy, signaling concerns about the potential ramifications of blending digital currency issuance with monetary control.

Emmer’s reservations about the government’s financial control extend beyond this legislation. In March, he warned against the weaponization of money, emphasizing concerns about the federal government’s efforts to expand its financial control. This aligns with broader apprehensions about the consolidation of government power and the potential for stifling dissent through financial means. U.S. presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. echoed these concerns in May, highlighting that CBDCs could significantly enhance the government’s ability to cut off access to funds with a mere keystroke.

The CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act has garnered support from various quarters, including Senators French Hill, Warren Davidson, and Mike Flood. These legislators share Emmer’s concerns about the potential encroachments on individual financial privacy and the concentration of financial power in the hands of unelected officials.

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Lacton Muriuki

Written by Lacton Muriuki

Lacton is an experienced journalist specializing in blockchain-based technologies, including NFTs and cryptocurrency. He dabbles in daily crypto news rich with well-researched stats. He adds aesthetic appeal, adding a human face to technology.