Tom Emmer, the majority whip of the United States House of Representatives and crypto proponent, believes digital assets have become a “sleeper issue” in U.S. politics, on both the state and federal levels. Speaking to Cointelegraph at the Permissionless II conference in Austin, Texas on Sept. 11, he said some candidates for the 2024 election may underestimate the impact of crypto and blockchain related matters. Emmer pointed to financial privacy issues, in particular government oversight of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).
“It’s politically potent regardless of your political persuasion,” he said. “Democrats, Republicans and others believe that your personal information is supposed to be yours and you get to choose when you get to share it.”
In the U.S., there is a generational divide which could result in pushback on policies that might limit the digital space, possibly leading to the “flushing out” of tech-inept lawmakers. Already, three candidates from both major political parties have expressed their views on CBDCs for the 2024 race.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican who polls second behind former president Donald Trump, promised in July to ban CBDCs should his campaign be successful. He also signed a Florida bill into law in May that largely prevents the use of a federally issued digital dollar. Other candidates who have voiced their opposition to CBDCs include Republican Vivek Ramaswamy and Democrat Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Emmer has reintroduced a bill to limit the Federal Reserve from issuing a CBDC and has backed an appropriations amendment for the Securities and Exchange Commission that could reduce the commission’s ability to enforce actions against crypto firms. On Sept. 20, the House Financial Services Committee will meet in a markup session for the Digital Dollar Pilot Prevention Act, a bill which could prohibit the Fed from launching CBDC pilot projects without congressional approval. The committee discussed CBDCs in a Sept. 14 hearing for the first time since the August recess.