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FIT21 Gets House Vote, Will Crypto Stay a Partisan Issue and Will it Define Maxine Waters Legacy?

Last Updated May 21, 2024 3:15 PM
Teuta Franjkovic
Last Updated May 21, 2024 3:15 PM
By Teuta Franjkovic
Verified by Peter Henn

Key Takeaways

  • The upcoming FIT21 vote could affect the crypto and political landscape, potentially shaping Maxine Waters’ legacy.
  • Ryan Selkis highlighted the FTX collapse, which pressured Waters and fueled Elizabeth Warren’s anti-crypto stance.
  • Recent developments like Democrat Senators voting to repeal SEC guidelines could open the door for a potential bipartisan vote on FIT21.

The upcoming vote on the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act (FIT21) in Washington could be a significant event for crypto.

Ryan Selkis, CEO of Messari, said  the vote, would reveal whether cryptocurrency continues to be a partisan issue. He also said it would be a “legacy-defining” moment for Representative Maxine Waters. Meanwhile, how the house votes could, potentially, affect Hakeem Jeffries’ chances at becoming Speaker of the House.

FIT21 Vote: A Pivotal Moment for Crypto Bill and Political Dynamics

 Selkis said  the fallout from the collapse of FTX has heavily influenced the current situation. The scandal embarrassed prominent Democrats, including Rep. Maxine Waters, and provided ammunition for crypto critics like Elizabeth Warren. The bankruptcy pressured Waters to distance herself from FIT21 as the Republicans gained control of the House.

Selkis talked about the longstanding relationship  between Waters and Republican congressman Patrick McHenry. However, what he described as Warren’s “persistent anti-crypto rhetoric and pressure fro, the Biden administration have complicated these efforts. Despite these challenges, recent developments, such as Warren’s Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 121 (SAB 121) rebuke, have potentially paved the way for a bipartisan vote on FIT21.

A strong bipartisan showing  in the House could reignite work on crypto market structure regulations between the House and Senate, setting the stage for potential legislative advancements in 2025. Also, such bipartisanship might improve the chances of passing stablecoin legislation this year.

McHenry Highlights Crucial Upcoming Vote on Crypto Regulation

According to McHenry, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, this week’s vote will significantly influence the likelihood of Senate support.

Speaking at the DC Blockchain Summit   last week, McHenry, a prominent supporter of crypto legislation, said people should take note of how many Democratws support the bill. The congressman, who will retire at the end of the year, has prioritized digital assets legislation as a key focus for his remaining time on Capitol Hill.

The House has recently passed crypto-related through McHenry’s committee. Meanwhile, Congress has pushed to overturn SEC crypto accounting policies.

This is the most comprehensive US crypto bill to go this far through Congress. If it gains bipartisan approval in the House, it will be a big deal for the cryptocurrency industry.

Optimism Grows for Bipartisan Support

However, the bill is not expected to find an immediate counterpart in the Senate, suggesting it won’t quickly become law..

French Hill , who leads a crypto subcommittee and is a potential successor to McHenry as chairman, expressed optimism about the House vote. Hill believes the 21 Senate Democrats who voted to repeal an SEC guideline suggests strong bipartisan support for FIT21.

McHenry also acknowledged the importance of Democratic support. He said that at least one Senate Democrat, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, expressed her intention to support the resolution to overturn the SEC’s accounting bulletin.

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