Top U.S. House Lawmakers Meet on Stablecoin Bill Strategy: Punchbowl

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Patrick McHenry and the panel's ranking Democrat, Maxine Waters, reportedly met with the Senate's majority leader on next steps.

AccessTimeIconApr 11, 2024 at 10:34 p.m. UTC
Updated Apr 11, 2024 at 10:37 p.m. UTC
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The U.S. congressional effort to establish regulations for stablecoins has become an increasing longshot for passage this year, but the lawmakers who've pushed legislation the farthest reportedly had a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer about it, Punchbowl News reported.

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) and the panel's senior Democrat, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), met with Schumer on Thursday to get legislation moving, potentially tying it to reauthorization of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) funding, the site reported.

On the crypto event circuit, McHenry has repeatedly contended that it's still possible to get his panel's stablecoin bill passed for President Joe Biden to sign it into law, including in remarks earlier this week. McHenry is retiring from Congress this year and has put a priority on the legislation to provide guardrails to issuers of the tokens that, among other uses, provide a steadier foundation for the trading of more volatile cryptocurrencies.

Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), who has also been trying to move digital assets legislation, said last month that Schumer was willing to work on a stablecoin bill.

Despite its success in passing the House committee with a bipartisan vote, the legislation faces daunting hurdles. It could be difficult to get a floor vote in a House that has been virtually paralyzed by infighting – especially within the ranks of top Republicans. And the Senate Banking Committee has shown no interest in picking the idea up and matching it. That could leave the narrower option of engaging in esoteric legislative wrangling to get it attached to a must-move item, such as the FAA spending bill.

Spokespeople for McHenry and Waters didn't immediately respond to requests for comment on the meeting.

Crypto insiders in D.C. have been quietly lamenting it as a likely lost cause for this session, but the Schumer meeting and McHenry's optimism may keep hope alive.

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.

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