U.S. Congressman wants to scrub bill provision that crypto advocates say is a potential disaster
North Carolina Representative Ted Budd submitted an amendment to the omnibus America COMPETES Act of 2022, specifically targeting the provision that would allow the Treasury Department to impose “special measures,” including surveillance and outright prohibitions, against “certain transmittals of funds.”
As Cointelegraph reported, executives of crypto advocacy group Coin Center had earlier turned the spotlight on the provision, introduced by Connecticut Representative Jim Himes, that would scrap the existing checks – such as the requirement of public consultation and time limits on special measures orders – constraining the Treasury’s power to unilaterally prohibit financial transactions. If passed in its current form, the provision would deal a major blow not only to the cryptocurrency industry, but “privacy and due process generally,” as Coin Center’s executive director Jerry Brito stated.
Republican Congressman Ted Budd echoed this argument in a statement that read:
The Treasury Department should not have unilateral authority to make sweeping economic decisions without providing full due process of rulemaking. This draconian provision would not help America compete with China, it would employ China’s heavy-handed playbook to snuff out financial innovation in our own country.
In a tweet that followed, Budd called the provision in question a “massive mistake.”
Tucking new rules that could adversely affect the crypto industry into huge, “must-pass” pieces of legislation is a practice that first came into spotlight last year with the appending, without public discussion, of a highly contentious definition of a “digital asset broker” to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act later signed into law.
The primary focus of the 2,912-page America COMPETES Act of 2022 is on remedying supply chain issues to keep the United States’ manufacturing and technology sectors internationally competitive. However, the sprawling bill also includes a host of seemingly unrelated measures and spending authorizations, including a ban on shark fin sales, steps against harassment in science, and new liabilities for online marketplaces.