Crypto-Friendly Congressman McHenry Temporarily Takes Over U.S. House

A staunch advocate for crypto industry regulation, Rep. Patrick McHenry has found himself as a stand-in Speaker of the House as crypto bills head toward the floor.

AccessTimeIconOct 3, 2023 at 11:03 p.m. UTC
Updated Oct 4, 2023 at 3:54 p.m. UTC

Crypto-friendly Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) has landed in the driver’s seat of the U.S. House of Representatives just as legislation to establish digital-asset regulations nears a finish line there.

While House Republicans seek a permanent replacement for their just-ousted Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), McHenry will serve as McCarthy’s temporary replacement. The chairman of the House Financial Services Committee has been hard at work since last year on a number of crypto bills, and having McHenry in a leadership role over the entire House can’t hurt their progress.

One bill that would erect guardrails for U.S. stablecoins and another that would establish wide-reaching rules for the crypto markets cleared his committee and are expected to be brought up for floor votes as soon as next month. However, a House approval is only a half victory for the crypto sector if the resistant Senate doesn’t approve it.

Meanwhile, a discordant Republican caucus in the House will try to find a permanent speaker – a painful process that took 15 rounds of voting to put McCarthy into the role. The name of Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) has emerged among possible successors, which could be a major win for crypto.

Still, after Tuesday’s dramatic and unprecedented ouster of McCarthy, it’s uncertain how long Republicans will take to choose a new leader. The House almost immediately faces the next round of budget debates that will determine whether Congress can keep the federal government open for business. A shutdown would likely slow the already sluggish pace of digital-asset policymaking in Washington.

Edited by Nick Baker.


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Jesse Hamilton

Jesse Hamilton is CoinDesk's deputy managing editor for global policy and regulation. He doesn't hold any crypto.