Rep. Tom Emmer proposes to defund SEC’s crusade against crypto

Pro-crypto Congressman Tom Emmer is advancing an amendment aimed at depriving the United States securities regulator from using government funds to go after crypto enforcement.

On Nov. 8, Emmer attached an amendment to HR 4664 — the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, or federal budget.

The amendment, which has passed unopposed, prohibits the Securities and Exchange Commission from using funds for enforcement activities related to digital asset transactions until Congress passes future legislation granting the agency jurisdiction to do so.

While the amendment has advanced, the House’s budget where it’s included will need to still face a reconciliation committee before it’s passed.

In a Nov. 8 statement, Emmer suggested the Department of Justice, the Treasury and the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control can handle “future bad actors like FTX.”

“SEC Chair Gensler cannot continue to abuse the powers of his agency to fulfill a political agenda of driving the new and promising digital asset industry offshore.”

Republican lawmakers are trying to reduce funding across all federal agencies.

On Nov. 7, Representative Tim Burchett took a swing at Gensler and others by proposing an amendment that would reduce the SEC chairman’s salary to $1. Burchett also proposed cutting the salaries of other officials who have drawn the GOP’s ire.

The budget expires on Nov. 17, when the House and Senate proposals must be reconciled or temporary funding approved to avoid a government shutdown.

Related: Ripple’s legal chief questions SEC case losses under Gensler

With Republican Jim Johnson installed as the House speaker, digital asset legislation is also being revived in addition to Federal Budget-related matters.

Among the crypto-related bills awaiting Congressional attention are the Financial Innovation and Technology (FIT) for the 21st Century Act, the Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act, the Clarity for Payment Stablecoins Act and the Keep Your Coins Act.

On Nov. 7, Senator Ted Budd introduced the Keep Your Coins Act — guaranteeing the right to maintain self-custody wallets — to the Senate after it passed the House Financial Services Committee in July.

The same day, The Wall Street Journal reported Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo urged Congress to crack down on the use of cryptocurrency for funding terrorism.

“There are places where we think Congress needs to act. We’re going to work with Congress to get more tools,” he said at the annual meeting of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.

Over 100 legislators called on Joe Biden’s administration to act against cryptocurrencies’ purported role in terrorism financing in an Oct. 17 letter spearheaded by Senator Elizabeth Warren.

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