TD Cowen Warns Push for Anti-CBDC Bill May Hinder Stablecoin Bill Support

Stablecoin Bill

According to a note from TD Cowen, House Republicans’ efforts to pass an anti-central bank digital currency (CBDC) bill could disrupt bipartisan backing for a stablecoin bill. The CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act, introduced by House Majority Whip Tom Emmer, aims to prevent the Federal Reserve from directly issuing a CBDC to individuals. Despite the bill’s advancement from the House Financial Services Committee in September, it faced significant criticism from Democrats.

House conservatives are reportedly considering voting for the CBDC bill alongside a long-awaited stablecoin bill, although this strategy isn’t led by Rep. Emmer. TD Cowen’s Washington Research Group, led by Jaret Seiberg, expressed concerns that tying a ban on a digital dollar to stablecoin legislation could jeopardize bipartisan support. Democrats generally see value in exploring a central bank cryptocurrency.

Maxine Waters, the top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, and its chair, Patrick McHenry, have engaged in lengthy discussions to find common ground on regulating stablecoins. Although the bill cleared the committee, disagreements persist, particularly regarding the primary regulator for stablecoin issuers.

TD Cowen emphasized that while it’s premature to declare the stablecoin bill in jeopardy, passing any legislation remains challenging. Any developments complicating the stablecoin bill further narrow the path to enactment.

While the central bank has explored the idea of issuing a CBDC, Fed Chair Powell clarified that the Fed is far from making recommendations or adopting a CBDC without congressional approval.

Additionally, the Heritage Foundation has pressed for the passage of a CBDC bill, warning lawmakers that their score on the Heritage Action Scorecard could suffer if they don’t cosponsor the legislation. Sen. Ted Cruz has introduced a bill to ban CBDCs, supported by the Heritage Foundation and the Blockchain Association, among others.

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