Cryptocurrency News

US House Financial Services members scold Fed’s Powell for stablecoin bill obstruction

5ca1b554 acfa 4876 b17f 5f9f219225a0

The United States Federal Reserve is seemingly running interference with Congressional efforts to regulate stablecoin, according to a letter recently sent to Fed chairman Jerome Powell. The letter came from chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee Patrick McHenry and subcommittee chairs French Hill and Bill Huizenga.

The legislators were objecting to two Fed letters: SR 23-7 on the Novel Activities Supervision Program and SR 23-8 titled “Supervisory Nonobjection Process for State Member Banks Seeking to Engage in Certain Activities Involving Dollar Tokens.” They wrote:

“We are concerned that these actions are being taken to subvert progress made by Congress to establish a payment stablecoin regulatory regime. Moreover, if these letters are left in place, they will undoubtedly deter financial institutions from participating in the digital asset ecosystem.”

The letters, issued simultaneously, supplement a January policy statement and impose additional limitations on activities with crypto assets.

Related: Rep. Patrick McHenry blames White House for lack of urgency on stablecoin bill negotiations

According to the legislators, the Fed letter “effectively prevent banks from issuing payment stablecoins—or engaging in the payment stablecoin ecosystem” while “masked as guidance outlining a process by which these activities can be permissible.” The January policy extended restrictions placed by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency on national banks to state banks.

In addition, the letter claimed that the Fed letters were issued without observing the notice and comment processes required by the Administrative Procedure Act.

The legislation referred to by the legislators is the “Clarity for Payment Stablecoins Act of 2023,” which McHenry introduced on July 20.

The committee members’ letter included a list of eight questions, the bulk of which concern implementation of the guidance found in the two Fed letters. Besides that, the letter demands records relating to the drafting of the Fed letters to determine the timeline of Fed letters’ drafting.

Magazine: Opinion: GOP crypto maxis almost as bad as Dems’ ‘anti-crypto army’