U.S. House Democrats Kick Against Crypto Market Bill

Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives have kicked against a bill to overhaul how financial laws treat crypto assets. According to the lawmakers, the bill is overly friendly towards crypto.

Speaking on the proposed bill, Rep. Maxine Waters, the top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee that debated the bill on Wednesday said:

“I am disappointed that Republicans have made the decision to move forward with a massive market structure bill to rewrite our nation’s investor protection acts,”

Senior members of the house have however agreed that a regulatory framework for stablecoins is in order and close to fruition. Waters and Republican House Financial Services Committee Chair Patrick McHenry expressed optimism for a stablecoin regulation.

They are also hopeful that the almost completed negotiations could also pave the way for the market bill which will be up for vote again on thursday next week.

“There is goodwill and much hard work by the Republican staff on the Financial Services Committee, and the Democrat staff on the Financial Services Committee, in coordination with Treasury conversations,” said McHenry.

However, Waters, like many other Democrats, is calling for input from the securities and exchange commission (SEC) and particularly SEC chair Gary Gensler on the market bill. Republicans are not in agreement with this, saying they asked for Gary’s input weeks ago with no response.

The push for stablecoin regulation

Following the crash of TerraUSD last year, lawmakers in the U.S. have advocated for a regulatory framework that will ensure the safety of investors using stablecoins. Both Democrat and Republican lawmakers have mostly agreed on this, making it more likely for the bill to be passed.

The opposition from some Democrats is however likely to sabotage the passage of the crypto market bill, if a majority of Democrats fail to support it. Not all of them are against the bill though.

A Democrat Jim Himes pointed out that the inconsistencies in regulators’ definition of a security, and the outcome of the three-year old Ripple vs SEC case calls for the crypto market bill.

“I am confident that this legislation, while not perfect, makes the status quo better,” said Rep. Jim Himes. “I’m a deep skeptic of this industry but we deserve better than the status quo,” continued Himes.

House Republicans lobby Democrats

As part of a strategy to get Democrats to support the crypto market bill, House Republicans have agreed to add $120 million in funding to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission taken from the SEC, a move that some Democrats kicked against.

This is to enable the commission to oversee spot markets for digital assets, like bitcoin, that would fall under the commodities regulator’s jurisdiction if the bill were to become law. McHenry further offered to raise the funding level to $150 million over three years if it would help the bill across the line.

Rep. David Scott, D-Ga., who sits on the Financial Services Committee and top Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee remains resolute against the bill though. “This is not just a bad bill, it’s a cruel bill, it’s a deceptive bill,” said Scott.

All hope is not lost though, as debate is ongoing and amendments are being made to reach a compromise. If successfully passed though, the crypto market bill may bring the much needed clarity that the crypto market desperately needs.

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