Rep. Patrick McHenry blames White House for lack of urgency on stablecoin bill negotiations

United States House Financial Services Committee Chair Patrick McHenry has pointed a finger at the Biden administration for the lack of bipartisan agreement on a stablecoin bill.

In a July 27 hearing, Representative McHenry said the version of the Clarity for Payment Stablecoins Act, H.R. 4766, being considered for markup was not based on negotiations between himself and ranking member Maxine Waters. He added that though the committee was “closer than [they]’ve ever been” on a bipartisan solution, the White House did not “share that same sense of urgency” as lawmakers.

“A few small, but nonetheless important, provisions stood between us and a deal,” said McHenry. “It was the White House’s unwillingness to compromise that has once again brought that negotiation to a halt.”

The stablecoin bill was one of many pieces of crypto-related legislation in the House committee. On July 26, lawmakers moved two key bills through that were aimed at providing regulatory clarity to crypto firms: the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act and the Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act.

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Representative Waters placed the blame for the lack of bipartisan agreement on the stablecoin bill on the “impatience of Republican leadership,” claiming the legislation was “a race to the bottom” with limited oversight over licensing and potential conflicts between approaches by U.S. state regulators and those at the federal level.

“Important legislation takes time,” said Waters. “The chair is impatient and has decidedly to abruptly end our negotiations and move forward with the bill that is deeply problematic. […] Under this framework, Amazon, Walmart, Facebook can create their own stablecoins or even be affiliated with a stablecoin issuer.”

“The Fed do not support the bill, Treasury does not support the bill, and we don’t have the support of those who asked us to get involved with a stablecoin bill to begin with.”

At the time of publication, it was unclear whether H.R. 4766 had the votes for passage through the committee. Lawmakers are also expected to discuss the Keep Your Coins Act introduced by Representative Warren Davidson, a bill aimed at preventing U.S. government agencies from exercising certain authority over individuals’ self-custodied crypto wallets.

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