Republican’s ‘landmark’ crypto bill clears 2 House committees
The market structure bill secured bipartisan support and moved through financial services and agriculture committees
US Representative French Hill | hill.house.gov modified by Blockworks
A day after the House Financial Services Committee delivered a win to the crypto industry and passed a bipartisan regulatory measure, members of the House Agriculture Committee gave the bill a green light.
The Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act passed through the Agriculture Committee Thursday afternoon. The Financial Services Committee did the same Wednesday evening after their markup.
“This legislation marks a significant milestone in the House Committee on Agriculture’s efforts to create a much-needed digital asset regulatory framework that protects consumers and investors while promoting American leadership in finance and technology,” Agriculture Committee Chair Glenn Thompson, R-Penn., said during Thursday’s hearing.
Rep. French Hill, chair of the inaugural Financial Services Subcommittee on Digital Assets, Financial Technology and Inclusion, introduced the legislation last week.
Not all agriculture committee members were on board, though, Democrat members specifically raised concerns about the bill’s registration process for crypto broker-dealers.
Rep. Jonathan Jackson, D-Ill., proposed an amendment to strike a section of the bill that allows firms who have filed a “notice of intent to register” to be exempt from certain enforcement actions from the Securities and Exchange Commission.
“Allowing for ‘intent to register’ before those regulations are completed would be an absolute injustice to our constituents and retail investors,” Jackson said. “This industry needs to be under full-force regulation and oversight.”
Thompson countered that the “notice of intent” allows firms who meet requirements for treatment of customer funds, disclosures and records to operate limitedly while the potentially years-long registration approval process plays out. The bill also allows the Commodity and Futures Trading Commission to issue enforcement actions against firms who have completed the “notice of intent” process.
Jackson’s amendment was not approved by the committee.
The committee did, however, offer its support to an amendment put forth by Rep. Yadira Caraveo, D-Col., which aims to modify the “notice of intent” provision. Under this amendment, these firms would be obligated to inform consumers that they are not fully approved.
The House Financial Services Committee also on Wednesday passed the Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act, introduced by majority whip Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn. Emmer first introduced the legislation last session, but the bill failed to make it out of committee. The new version of the bill debuted on the House floor in March.
The Agriculture Committee’s markup was much calmer than efforts in the House Financial Services Committee, which met at the same time to consider another set of bills, including a Republican-led stablecoin bill that took over the focus of the meeting.
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