Tom Emmer sneaks crypto provision into House budget bill

Emmer claims SEC Chair Gary Gensler is abusing his regulatory powers by targeting the crypto community

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US Rep. Tom Emmer | Al Mueller/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks

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As congressional leaders work for the second time this year to prevent a government shutdown, Representative Tom Emmer, R-Minn., is advancing an amendment targeting how the Securities and Exchange Commission can use funds. 

Emmer’s amendment to the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, which passed the House in a voice vote Wednesday, prohibits the securities regulator from using its budget to pursue enforcement actions against crypto companies until Congress passes legislation that grants the SEC jurisdiction over the asset class. 

In remarks before the Rules Committee hearing this week, Emmer blamed the SEC’s “out of check” spending on Chair Gary Gensler, who is perpetuating a “pattern of regulatory abuse” by targeting actors in the digital asset space. 

“At a time when clear guidance is desperately needed, Chair Gensler instead spends taxpayer resources, praising himself for targeting celebrities like Kim Kardashian, while Sam Bankman-Fried was running a Ponzi scheme right under his nose,” Emmer said Wednesday. 

The amendment comes as lawmakers once again race the clock to get a budget to President Joe Biden’s desk before the Nov. 17 deadline. Congressional leaders were able to pen an eleventh-hour deal just weeks ago that secured funding through the middle of this month. 

The hold up on a funding plan — combined with the lengthy search for a new Speaker of the House last month — has left little time for lawmakers to advance the number of bills and drafts before them relating to crypto policy, leading the industry and some leaders frustrated. 

“The unique characteristics of digital assets make it hard to fit this asset class into any existing regulatory framework,” Emmer added. “That doesn’t mean crypto is up for grabs by whatever federal bureaucratic agency has the most taxpayer-funded enforcement resources to burn.”


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