Washington, D.C. – Today, Majority Whip Tom Emmer (MN-06) reintroduced his flagship legislation, the CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act, to halt the efforts of unelected bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. from issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC) that dismantles Americans’ right to financial privacy. He is joined by 50 original cosponsors.
Unlike decentralized cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, a CBDC is a digital form of sovereign currency that is designed and issued by a government and transacts on a digital ledger that is controlled by that government. In short, a CBDC is government-controlled programmable money that, if not designed to emulate cash, could give the federal government the ability to surveil Americans' transactions and choke out politically unpopular activity.
“The administration has made it clear: President Biden is willing to compromise the American people’s right to financial privacy for a surveillance-style CBDC. That’s why I’m reintroducing my landmark legislation to put a check on unelected bureaucrats and ensure the United States’ digital currency policy upholds our values of privacy, individual sovereignty, and free-market competitiveness,” Whip Emmer said.
“If not designed to be open, permissionless, and private – emulating cash – a government-issued CBDC is nothing more than a CCP-style surveillance tool that would be used to undermine the American way of life,” Whip Emmer concluded.
"Thorough anti-CBDC legislation is critical for safeguarding Americans' financial privacy in the face of potential surveillance, control, and political intimidation. We commend Congressman Emmer’s sweeping bill to prohibit a CBDC issued both directly from the Fed to Americans and indirectly via banks or other intermediaries. All members of Congress should support this measure to protect individual liberty and prevent threats of government coercion through the financial sector." – Ryan Walker, Acting Executive Director, Heritage Action
“Two world visions for the future of digital currencies are in conflict: China and a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) where government creates digital assets and surveils, spies, monitors, and restricts consumer behavior versus an American free marketplace that enables private competition that protects consumer data, allows economic freedom, enables innovation, and encourages competition. Club for Growth is pleased to work with House Majority Whip Tom Emmer so America doesn’t go down the China road and the Federal Reserve never develops a CBDC. We fully support this new legislation which does just that.” – David McIntosh, President, Club for Growth
Specifically, the CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act prohibits the Federal Reserve from issuing a CBDC directly to individuals, ensuring the Fed cannot mobilize itself into a retail bank able to collect personal financial data on Americans. It prohibits the Fed from indirectly issuing a CBDC to individuals through an intermediary, preventing the Fed from launching a retail CBDC through our two-tier financial system. Finally, it prohibits the Fed from using any CBDC to implement monetary policy, ensuring the Federal Reserve cannot use a CBDC as a tool to control the American economy. The legislation protects innovation and any future development of digital cash.
Whip Emmer first introduced the leading Republican bill to address central bank digital currencies in January of 2022. The bill is now co-sponsored by 50 of Whip Emmer’s Republican colleagues, including Members of the Financial Services Committee, Representatives French Hill (AR-02), Warren Davidson (OH-08), Byron Donalds (FL-19), Pete Sessions (TX-32), Young Kim (CA-40), William Timmons (SC-04), Ralph Norman (SC-05), Barry Loudermilk (GA-11), Bryan Steil (WI-01), Scott Fitzgerald (WI-05), Mike Flood (NE-01), Bill Posey (FL-08), Mike Lawler (NY-17), Andy Ogles (TN-05) and Ann Wagner (MO-02).
Since the 117th Congress, Whip Emmer has been the leading voice against any Federal Reserve-issued central bank digital currency. The reintroduction of the CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act expands on Emmer’s previous work on the subject.
You can read the bill in its entirety, here.