McHenry hopeful that ‘ugly baby’ stablecoin bill will advance

Quick Take

  • Rep. Patrick McHenry, the top Republican on the House Financial Services Committee, is hopeful that stablecoin legislation will advance in the coming months.
  • Lawmakers have been negotiating a bill to regulate stablecoins. The initial draft of the legislation is an “ugly baby,” McHenry said.

Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., is hopeful that a stablecoin bill he is negotiating with House Financial Services Chair Maxine Waters will advance in the coming months, he said during an event on Wednesday. 

“We’ve come up with a pretty ugly baby,” McHenry said, referring to draft stablecoin legislation. “It is a baby nonetheless, and we are grateful and hopeful that this ugly baby can grow and prosper into something that is a little more attractive.” 

McHenry made the comments during D.C. Fintech Week, a financial conference hosted by the Georgetown University Law Center. McHenry is the top Republican on the committee and poised to become the chair if Republicans retake the House in November. 

For months, Water and McHenry have worked behind the scenes to hash out a deal to regulate stablecoins. A draft of the legislation would create a federal framework around stablecoins and temporarily ban the types of payment coins that are not backed by outside assets. The Treasury Department has also been involved in drafting the bill, McHenry said. 

McHenry noted several areas of disagreement, including determining the appropriate federal regulator, the means by which stablecoins are held and new rules around wallets. The Republican lawmaker said he is encouraged that committee members are nearing a deal, despite operating in a “divided Washington” and a time of “chaos.”

“I’m hopeful for what this means in the coming months,” McHenry said. “I’m optimistic that we will come to terms.” 

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