GOP Lawmaker Proposes Bill to Prohibit Federal Reserve’s Central Bank Digital Currency Creation

Republican Majority Whip Tom Emmer from Minnesota has introduced the “CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act,” a bill to prevent the Federal Reserve from creating a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). Emmer argues that such a government-controlled programmable digital currency could infringe upon Americans’ financial privacy rights and likened it to China’s social credit system.

Emmer’s bill seeks to ensure that any future CBDC is open, permissionless, and private, similar to cash, rather than a surveillance tool. He contends that the Biden administration is willing to compromise Americans’ financial privacy for a CBDC with surveillance capabilities.

Federal Reserve Vice Chair for Supervision, Michael S. Barr, expressed the Fed’s interest in a CBDC and its ongoing research into the technology. However, he emphasized that the Fed has not decided on issuing a CBDC and would require clear support from the executive branch and authorizing legislation from Congress to proceed.

Republican Representative Tom Emmer’s introduction of the “CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act” reflects growing concerns over the potential implications of a government-controlled digital currency on financial privacy. Emmer argues that a CBDC must prioritize openness, permissionlessness, and privacy to avoid becoming a tool for surveillance.

The Federal Reserve, while exploring CBDC possibilities, has emphasized the need for careful consideration and congressional authorization before proceeding with any such digital currency. Emmer’s bill arrives at a critical moment, highlighting the debate around the future of digital currency in the United States.

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