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Ted Cruz Leads Senators Trying To Block Fed’s CBDC Plans

Last Updated February 29, 2024 10:32 AM
Teuta Franjkovic
Last Updated February 29, 2024 10:32 AM
By Teuta Franjkovic
Verified by Peter Henn

Key Takeaways

  • Senate Republicans, led by Ted Cruz, oppose the Federal Reserve’s proposal to develop CBDC.
  • The debate over the introduction of a CBDC is becoming a significant issue for the 2024 presidential campaign.
  • A new bill, backed by conservative groups, wants Congress to control any future digital dollar by the Federal Reserve.

Senate Republicans are taking a firm stance  against the Federal Reserve’s potential development of a central bank digital currency (CBDC), aiming to limit the central bank’s capacity to introduce a digital dollar.

According to reports , this movement wants to make the digital dollar a key issue in the 2024 presidential campaign.

GOP Lawmakers Rally Against CBDC, Citing Privacy Concerns

Conservative legislators are intensifying their campaign against the prospect of a central bank digital currency (CBDC). They are voicing concerns it could provide the federal government with a tool to monitor Americans’ financial transactions. Also, they claim it could let authorities potentially limit access to funds.

While the Biden administration has authorized the Federal Reserve to explore the potential of a CBDC to streamline and democratize access to payment systems, there remains no commitment to its adoption. Texas Senator Ted Cruz , alongside colleagues Bill Hagerty, Rick Scott, Ted Budd, Mike Braun, and Kevin Cramer, has announced plans to introduce legislation named the Central Bank Digital Currency Anti-Surveillance State Act.

With this act they are aiming to thwart the establishment of a digital currency that could enable financial surveillance by the government.

The forthcoming bill, set to be introduced in the Senate by Ted Cruz on Monday, asserts that the Federal Reserve does not possess the legal authority to issue a central bank digital currency (CBDC), a digital equivalent of the US dollar, directly to American citizens without explicit congressional approval.

Receiving Support From Heritage Action for America

The proposed legislation, receiving support from Heritage Action for America, the Blockchain Association, and the American Bankers Association among others, is designed to complement House Majority Whip Tom Emmer’s Central Bank Digital Currency Anti-Surveillance State Act, reintroduced in the House in September with backing from 97 Republican members of Congress.

Senator Ted Cruz’s bill seeks to mirror Emmer’s objectives by prohibiting the Federal Reserve and its affiliated banks from issuing a CBDC to influence monetary policy or extend its control over the economy.

Cruz criticized the Biden administration’s interest in adopting CBDCs similar to China, emphasizing the need for Congressional action to prevent the Federal Reserve from launching a CBDC that could compromise American citizens’ privacy and freedom by monitoring their spending habits.

Digital Dollar Debate Heats Up: Political Battle Lines Drawn

China leads the pack among 11 countries that have fully embraced a central bank digital currency (CBDC). Beijing has, allegedly, used the digital yuan to scrutinize citizens’ spending patterns. This has spurred apprehension among conservative American lawmakers, who argue introducing a digital dollar could allow the Fed unprecedented access to Americans’ private financial information.

While the Federal Reserve remains undecided about the adoption of a CBDC, the Biden administration has prioritized CBDC research. It says any legislative attempts to block its creation could face significant hurdles while Biden is in office. The controversy over CBDCs has also emerged as a key issue in the Republican presidential campaign. Candidates have been taking anti-CBDC stances in order to appeal to voters’ concerns about increased government surveillance.

High-profile figures, including former President Trump and other GOP contenders, as well as Democrat-turned-Independent Robert F. Kennedy Jr., have publicly criticized the concept of a digital dollar, citing threats to personal freedom and civil liberties.

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