GOP-led House passes bill prohibiting Central Bank from issuing digital currency

House Republicans say Central Bank digital currency would lead to government 'control'

Published: May 23, 2024 1:03pm

Updated: May 23, 2024 2:22pm

House Republicans advocated on the House floor Thursday for passage of a bill to ban Fed digital currency pilot program.

The bill ultimately passed 216-192 and it now heads to the Senate. There were 3 Democrats who joined Republicans in support of the bill while 192 voted against the measure.

The CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act would "amend the Federal Reserve Act to prohibit the Federal Reserve banks from offering certain products or services directly to an individual, to prohibit the use of central bank digital currency for monetary policy, and for other purposes."

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., ranking member of the Financial Services Committee, said the bill should be rejected since a Central Bank pilot program for digital currency doesn't mean there will ultimately be an official government digital currency.

Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Ohio, said that "word weasels" want Americans to believe a pilot program means the Central Bank won't issue a digital currency. 

He called a digital currency the "creepiest surveillance tool known to man" that would lead to "coercion and control."

"Why would we enable it?" he said. "Everywhere it's depicted as evil."

Davidson said the Fed should not pursue a digital currency without authorization from Congress, arguing it doesn't have a place in a free society. 

"We don't want them to design it," he said. "We don't want them to build it."

Waters argued that the Republicans' privacy concerns are baseless. 

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