Representative of Minnesota Tom Emmer has introduced legislation in the United States House of Representatives that could limit the Federal Reserve from issuing central bank digital currency, or CBDC.
In a February 22 announcement, Rep. Emmer he said introduced the ‘CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act’ in an apparent effort to protect Americans’ right to financial privacy. According to the Minnesota lawmaker, the bill could prohibit the Fed from issuing a digital dollar “directly to anyone,” prohibit the central bank from conducting monetary policy based on CBDC, and require transparency on digital dollar-related projects.
“Any digital version of the dollar must support our American values of privacy, individual sovereignty and free market competitiveness,” Emmer said. “Anything less opens the door to the development of a dangerous surveillance tool.”
Today I introduced the CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act to stop efforts by unelected bureaucrats in Washington, DC to strip Americans of their right to financial privacy. pic.twitter.com/lONbHFZMk7
— Tom Emmer (@GOPMajorityWhip) February 22, 2023
If passed in both the House and Senate and signed by President Joe Biden, the bill would amend the Federal Reserve Act to limit the Fed’s authority over CBDCs. Emmer is the majority whip for the House, where Republicans currently hold the majority of seats. Cointelegraph reached out to Emmer’s representative’s office but did not receive a response at the time of publication.
Many on social media praised the bill as a step in the right direction. Bitcoiner Dan Held they applauded Emmer’s actions with others quote financial privacy as one of the reasons they supported the law.
Emmer introduced a similar bill in January 2022, during the last session of Congress when Republicans held a minority in the House. At the time, a US lawmaker cited “Chinese digital authoritarianism” in curbing the Fed’s authority over the digital dollar — China announced that its digital yuan would be available to foreign athletes at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and continues to move forward with the project.
Related: US senator calls on SEC’s Gensler to be held accountable for ‘regulatory failure’
During most of his recent tenure in office, Representative Emmer has been seen as a crypto-friendly lawmaker calls on the government to reduce regulation in order to promote innovation in industry. In December, he asked Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler appear before Congress to “answer questions about the cost of its regulatory failure”.