U.S. House's McHenry Says Bill on Crypto Market Structure Will Get Floor Vote

The legislation known as FIT21, which would set up a system to govern U.S. crypto markets, is headed toward a House vote, though that may mark the end of this effort.

AccessTimeIconMay 10, 2024 at 8:42 p.m. UTC
Updated May 10, 2024 at 8:45 p.m. UTC
  • A bill to set out a regulatory regime for U.S. cryptocurrency markets will finally get a vote from the overall House of Representatives, said Rep. Patrick McHenry.
  • The House Rules Committee approved the legislation for a vote next month, potentially pushing it toward a high-water mark for crypto legislation in the U.S.

The most comprehensive U.S. cryptocurrency legislation to so far make it through a congressional committee will get even further, with the entire House of Representatives set to vote on whether to approve it soon, according to Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.

His panel last year had cleared the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act, or FIT21, in a bipartisan vote that drew a handful of Democrat supporters in spite of opposition from their ranking member on the committee, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) That bill is on a path toward becoming the first significant digital assets regulatory legislation to clear one of the chambers of Congress now that it's been cleared for a vote next month by the House Rules Committee, according to McHenry.

The bill, which had also been approved by the House Agriculture Committee, is the "culmination of years of bipartisan efforts to finally provide clarity," said the North Carolina lawmaker, who is retiring from Congress at the end of the year and made crypto legislation one of his priorities on his way out.

"With the floor vote announced today, Congress will take a historic step to provide a clear regulatory framework for digital asset markets," McHenry said in a statement. "This legislation will cement American leadership of the global financial system for decades to come and bolster our role as an international hub for innovation."

Though it's a mark of progress to get legislation that far in a highly partisan and combative Congress, the bill is unlikely to find parallel action in the Senate – which is needed for Congress to fully approve legislation and send it to the president to sign into law. That chamber hasn't yet done high-level work on a similar effort, though lawmakers there recently showed some willingness to find a path for another crypto effort: a bill to regulate the issuers of stablecoins.


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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.