A member of the US House of Representatives is introducing bi-partisan legislation that would explicitly prohibit the Federal Government from issuing a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) without approval by Congress.
During new House Floor remarks, Rep. Jake Auchincloss (D-MA) says that CBDCs are controversial and should require Congress’ approval prior to any possible issuance for proper vetting by those who are accountable to the voters.
“The implications for the United States dollar as the world’s reserve currency and for domestic fiscal and monetary policy of a US CBDC are hotly debated by experts. What should not be controversial, however, is that the Federal Reserve, Treasury and all other executive agencies cannot issue a CBDC without explicit authorization from Congress.”
Auchincloss acknowledges that Federal officials have previously stated they wouldn’t issue a CBDC without Congress’s approval. However, he says a law is still necessary, which is why he is introducing the Power to Mint Act.
“Although the Fed understands that it cannot issue a CBDC without authorization from Congress, some commentators continue to suggest that legislation may not be necessary. They are wrong. The framers of the Constitution understood the importance of a strong and stable national currency, which is why they granted Congress the exclusive power to coin money and regulate its value.
Congress must not forfeit this power, which is why I am introducing the Power to Mint Act. This bill clearly prohibits the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department from issuing a CBDC without authorization from Congress.”
Rep. French Hill (R-AR), who is jointly introducing the bill, says that “we believe that under the Constitution, that authority [to issue a CBDC] rests with Congress and the American people, not unelected bureaucrats.”
Hill says he has heard from his constituents concerns that a CBDC could jeopardize their financial freedom and be used for government surveillance.
“Usually, the only time my constituents from central Arkansas ever call into my office about digital assets is when they’re worried that Uncle Sam is going to use a central bank digital currency to surveil where they’re spending their money and how much, and ultimately block them from using the banking and payments system.”
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