In a significant development for the cryptocurrency industry, the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee has passed a provision that would defund the SEC’s enforcement actions against cryptocurrency businesses.
A clause to cut SEC enforcement actions against crypto was added on Wednesday, November 8, 2023, when the US House of Representatives began debating legislation regarding the budget for the upcoming year.
The move was directed at SEC Chair Gary Gensler, whom Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), one of the sector’s closest advocates on Capitol Hill, for attempting to guide the crypto business through enforcement actions rather than policy, as Emmer criticized Gensler on Wednesday, November 8, 2023.
The Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act of 2024, the House appropriations measure, saw several revisions, including this one from Emmer. Members voted by voice to support the modification, one of over 100 that had been presented for the bill.
“My amendment prohibits the SEC from using funds for enforcement activities related to digital asset transactions until Congress passes legislation that gives the SEC jurisdiction over this asset class,” said Emmer, who was also recently considered for the House speaker role, in his floor statement .
“This will keep Chair Gensler, who has proven himself to be ineffective and incompetent, in check while Congress continues working to give this industry a chance to grow and develop right here in the United States,” he added.
“Now the Senate must continue working towards a common sense, bipartisan solution that allows blockchain technology to thrive while protecting American consumers and investors,” commented former Reps. David McIntosh and Tim Ryan, who are co-chairs of the Blockchain Innovation Project said they aided in Emmer’s amendment.
Of course, the Senate, where the Democrats hold the control – and they are more in line with Gensler -, must also support any House spending agreement. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, and a few other people enthusiastically support Gensler’s use of enforcement measures against cryptocurrency firms.
Former Representatives David McIntosh and Tim Ryan, co-chairs of the Blockchain Innovation Project, who claimed to have contributed to Emmer’s amendment, commented how the Senate must continue working towards a common sense, bipartisan solution that allows blockchain technology to thrive while protecting American consumers and investors.
By November 17, the government’s temporary financing will expire, setting the stage for another budget standoff in Congress. Even though they had previously agreed on a temporary fix, GOP colleagues dismissed then-Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). They appointed Rep. Mike Johnson (F-La.) as speaker after McCarthy voted against the budget extension.
Gensler stated on Wednesday that his agency has launched up to 150 actions against cryptocurrency companies. “I’m really proud of that,” he declared in Washington, DC, during DC Fintech Week.