Republican Lawmakers Introduce Legislation to Ban a CBDC in the U.S. ... Again

Senators Ted Cruz, Bill Hagerty, Rick Scott, Ted Budd and Mike Braun filed a bill titled "The CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act."

AccessTimeIconFeb 27, 2024 at 8:51 a.m. UTC
Updated Mar 8, 2024 at 10:13 p.m. UTC
  • Republican senators have introduced legislation aimed at blocking a CBDC in the U.S.
  • The lawmakers say the "Biden administration salivates at the thought of infringing on our freedom and intruding on the privacy of citizens to surveil their personal spending habits ..."
  • Republicans have tried to introduce such legislation several times in the past.

Yet again, Republican lawmakers have introduced legislation to block efforts to introduce a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in the U.S. on concerns a digital dollar would impinge on personal privacy.

On Monday, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), joined by Sens. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), and Mike Braun (R-Ind.), filed legislation titled "The CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act."

"The Biden administration salivates at the thought of infringing on our freedom and intruding on the privacy of citizens to surveil their personal spending habits, which is why Congress must clarify that the Federal Reserve has no authority to implement a CBDC," Cruz wrote in a post on his website.

CBDCs have become a presidential election issue or at least a campaign talking point, even though President Joe Biden's administration has not made any declaration on the topic. The Federal Reserve would be the issuing institution, and is only in the basic research phase. Fed Vice Chairman for Supervision Michael Bar has said the Fed won't take a step forward without signoff from the White House and an authorizing bill from Congress.

Former President Donald Trump, the front-runner in the Republican leadership race, has promised to ban the creation of a CBDC.

In September 2023, at least one Democrat, Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) reintroduced a bill calling for a digital dollar pilot explaining that "Russia, China, and nearly 130 countries worldwide already researching and launching some form of CBDCs," and thus it is "absolutely critical" for the U.S. to take this step.

Republicans have tried to head off a CBDC on several occasions, including the Digital Dollar Pilot Prevention Act pushed by Rep. Alex Mooney (R-W.V.), Rep. Tom Emmer's (MN-06) CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act, and Ted Cruz's first legislation against a CBDC.

Edited by Sheldon Reback.


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Amitoj Singh

Amitoj Singh is a CoinDesk reporter.