It is safe to say that this week was the biggest week crypto has ever had on Capitol Hill. While previously there have been hearings and a ton of talk this was the first time that we got any sort of action. Most of the action came on the House of Reps side of Congress with crypto-specific legislation moving for the first time from a Committee to the House floor but the Senate also added some crypto provisions to the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act).
Starting with the House of Representatives a couple of weeks ago the Republican Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and the House Agriculture Committee released the first comprehensive crypto bill that was given a Committee markup date. In part because the announcement and introduction did not include a Democrat cosponsor I was a little concerned this would get bogged down in partisan legislation.
Initial votes for the bills in the House Financial Services were pushed back a week before being split up into two. The first hearing marked up and sent to the Floor was the massive overhaul of the cryptosystem that reeled in the SEC. Importantly for this legislation, we had 6 Democrats break with Ranking Member Waters and vote for it. Ranking Members Waters was and still is extremely against this legislation and has gone on a tweet rampage about how bad this legislation was throwing her own Members under the bus.
The next day's votes made a ton of noise on The Hill because of how it came out the White House threw a wrench in the Committee's bipartisan stablecoin bill. Both sides threw shots in opening statements however one thing that must be recognized is this is the second time that the Administration has derailed bipartisan stablecoin legislation. Last year, the exact same thing happened again at the last minute in July. When Ranking Member Waters then slammed the bill as a MAGA extremist bill and demanded the vote for it be postponed for further negotiations we have already been on that road for over a year now something had to pass. This bill also had some Democratic support but it was only by 4 Members this time.
One last bill that did not gain nearly the attention it deserved and also passed through the Committee that day was the "Keep Your Coins Act of 2023". The reason that this is an important piece of legislation is that it would codify into law the ability for people and businesses to store and manage their crypto securely without unnecessary third-party involvement. This advanced out of Committee along much narrower lines of 29 for and 21 against.
On the Senate side though there provisions that contain crypto are likely to fail but not for reasons that one would expect. Since the NDAA has to be passed every year to fund the military the legislation has become a magnet for random things to get attached to it that have nothing to do with the NDAA's meaning or purpose. House Leadership has told Committee and Personal Office staff that in this Congress we are not going to do this so when the two sides meet in September to reach a compromise crypto is not going to be part of the final version.
It was critical for this legislation to start moving now as it gives the House something to focus on when they return in September besides the NDAA. This will likely allow for the biggest bill to hit the House floor before the end of September and be sent over to the Senate. The Stablecoin and Keep Your Coins Act likely will be held back so that they can be used to plug in and fill gaps in the schedule in September and October.
The one thing that could flip this on its head very very quickly is if the Members of a specific group in the House follow through on their threat and let the Government run out of money. Government spending bills have been working their way through the House but the Senate and White House have pushed back on some levels of funding and have threatened to veto bills if they are passed as they currently lined up. Odds are it will be an 11th-hour deal that keeps funding going but there is a government shutdown threat upon us once more.
originally posted in r/cryptocurrency
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