Republicans had hoped to get US crypto legislation through the House in 2023. However, now 2024 seems to be a more likely period.
The introduction of comprehensive regulatory frameworks for cryptocurrencies in the United States has taken an unexpected turn, with lawmakers now eyeing 2024 as the prospective timeline for House approval of the bill.
After months of waiting for the potential green light on two proposed regulations aimed at policing stablecoin issuers and the entire crypto market, US Rep. French Hill (R-Ark.), the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee’s subcommittee that focuses on virtual assets regulation, said the bill would likely be delayed until early next year.
US to Delay Crypto Bills
According to CoinDesk, the US lawmaker and politician representing Arkansas’s 2nd congressional district since 2015 disclosed the information during a Blockchain Association conference held in Washington on November 30.
He attributed the delay in advancing the two crypto legislations to recent disagreements among House Republicans over selecting a new speaker, which prompted Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), a popular crypto proponent, to assume the role of stand-in speaker temporarily. According to Senator Hill, the conflict delayed the floor time the lawmakers had to discuss the legislation.
Another US lawmaker, Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), present at the same event, echoed the sentiment, acknowledging that the internal conflicts among House Republicans had indeed set back the legislative timeline for discussions on crypto-related matters. Lummis, an advocate for comprehensive crypto legislation, believes the stablecoin bill may progress in early 2024.
“That is an area that could come early in 2024,” Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) echoed in response. Both Lummis and Himes are part of the House negotiations for the proposed crypto bill.
Weather in the Capitol
As one of the few Democrats on the House Financial Services Committee supporting the drafted laws, Himes said that countering external criticisms and opinions voiced by Gary Gensler, the chairman of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and a vocal critic of the crypto industry, is crucial for the legislation to gain bipartisan support.
He also noted that the House dynamics are further complicated by the withdrawal of support from the committee’s top Democrat, Representative Maxine Waters (D-Calif.).
Himes suggested that if Waters reconsiders and supports the bill, it could draw attention from the Democratic Senate, prompting a more serious consideration of the proposed legislation. He also acknowledged some challenges in the Senate, particularly citing Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), who heads the Senate Banking Committee. Describing the committee as a “tough nut to crack”, Himes suggested that a strong bipartisan vote in the House could pave the way for progress in the Senate.
“On the other side of the Capitol, the weather is uglier,” Himes said of the crypto views of some Senate Democrats, including Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), who runs the Senate Banking Committee. “You could see a path, but I think it probably starts with a strong bipartisan vote in the House,” Himes said.
On the other hand, Lummis shared her optimism for the bill, noting that the recent proposal of crypto-related illicit-finance policies by the US Department of the Treasury could signal a willingness to negotiate. The senator believes the policies could influence Senate Democrats, potentially facilitating a more favorable environment for crypto legislation.