Rep. Tom Emmer Alleges Democrats Secretly Supporting CBDC Bill

The Republican majority whip indicates that Democrats secretly support his proposed central bank digital currency (CBDC) bill. He attributes the silence from the Democrats to the White House’s stance on the crypto industry. 

CBDC Bill Garners Steam in US Congress

Rep Tom Emmer revealed on Monday, May 8, that the proposed CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act is gaining popularity among lawmakers. The support transcends booths sides of government though the Democratic politicians are reluctant to state their support publicly.

The proposed bill has been gaining traction since its February introduction. It prohibits the Federal Reserve’s attempt to issue CBDC directly to the citizens. Also, the bill aims to control the Fed’s attempt to deploy the CBDC in shaping monetary policy. The bill targets the US central bank to increase oversight when researching and piloting the digital dollar. 

CBDC Bill Co-sponsors Increase Among Republicans

Rep Emmer indicates that the bill co-sponsors have increased rapidly from 9 by gaining the support of an additional 14 to realize 23 Congress members. While all co-sponsors are Republicans, Rep.  Emmer reveals that those are the only ones to append their names to the proposed legislation.

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Emmer revealed that the support for the Anti-Surveillance State Act extends beyond the crypto-friendly Republicans. In a discussion convened by the conservative Federalist Society group, Emmer lauds the increased support from the conservative law group in its quest to rein control on the Fed’s CBDC plans.

Bipartisan Support for CBDC Bill Likely to Resolve the Privacy Concerns

Emmer believes the proposed bill will receive significant bipartisan support, even from Democratic lawmakers. However, such members cannot publicly state their support, considering the unfavourable stance adopted by the Biden administration. 

Emmer likens CBDCs to stablecoins as tokens whose value is pegged to a sovereign currency such as the US dollar. He acknowledged that CBDCs differ from the stablecoins managed by private entities. Instead, CBDCs issuance and maintenance involve the responsibility of central banks and governments. 

CBDC Vulnerable to Power Abuse 

Emmer dismissed the view held by CBDCs supporters that it constitutes a natural evolution of cash capable of bolstering financial inclusion. He considers that the CBDC, though evolutionary, is a technology tool designed to foster surveillance, hence vulnerable to power abuse. 

Emmer utilized the discussion hosted by the conservative law group to explain the criticism levied towards CBDC. He cites possible violation of privacy concerns as a basis for dismissing CBDC issuance by the government. He considers that the government can leverage CBDC to monitor transactions, spending and contravening privacy rights. 

Emmer pronouncements receive support from Michael Barr, the vice chair in Fed’s supervision. The executive at the US banking supervisor restated the March stance that CBDC poses privacy concerns. Instead, it should offer the privacy that replicates the bank deposits. 

Emmer’s proposal coincides with when the Fed repeatedly indicated it would issue the retail-facing CBDC. Fed recently indicated that it would only issue CBDC following the approval by Congress, particularly for use by Americans to execute their daily purchases. 

Fed Yet to Demonstrate Seriousness in CBDC Openness

The stance of the Fed to exclude CBDC from the retail segment is evident in Chair Jerome Powell’s recent activity. In particular, Powell admitted that the Fed is proposing the introduction of a unique CBDC solely targeting financial institutions.

Emmer dismisses Powell’s proposal to have retail and Wholesale targeting CBDCs. He considers such distinction merely a word soup adopted by the Treasury and Fed. 

Emmer challenged the Fed and Treasury to replicate the stablecoins design when formulating the ideals of CBDC. The process is attainable only when Fed can prioritize tapping into the Web3 space.

Rep Emmer indicated that creating an open yet permissionless simulation of private cash. By doing so, the government would garner support towards the CBDC rollout. The Republican politician suggested that failure to fulfill such requirements is sufficient for the Fed to terminate the creation of CBDC.  

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