Senior House Republican: Biden administration holding up stablecoin bill

Quick Take

  • Biden administration officials have held up stablecoin discussions in the House of Representatives, top Financial Services Committee Republican Patrick McHenry told The Block. 
  • McHenry said he’s prepared to move on digital asset legislation next year, if a late agreement doesn’t happen before the end of this Congress. 

A comprehensive a stablecoin bill can still pass this Congress, despite little time remaining on the calendar, but the Biden administration is holding up an agreement, top House Financial Services Committee Republican Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., told The Block.

“I’m optimistic that we can still get something done this Congress. It’s up to the administration to come to the reality of votes on the Hill,” McHenry said.  "I’m grateful for the willingness of Chairwoman Waters to compromise. Democrats are in the majority, she doesn’t have to compromise with Republicans. But on this matter I think it’s important to have bipartisan legislation.”

McHenry added, “The administration and Hill policymakers are in different places. I think there’s goodwill on the Hill to come up with a reasonable product, for those of us who are serious policymakers.” 

Legislation to create clearer rules around stablecoins has been on the front burner since the collapse of TerraUSD this past spring, but progress between McHenry, House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and the Biden administration stalled over the summer. The Financial Stability Oversight Council, a collection of financial regulatory agency leadership led by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, recently repeated a call for legislation around stablecoins. 

With Republicans favored to take control of the House of Representatives after the midterm elections, McHenry noted that he’s likely to have more leverage in drafting legislation next year. Earlier Wednesday, during a panel discussion with Stripe CEO and co-founder Patrick Collison, the North Carolina Republican referred to the bill he and Waters had worked on as an "ugly baby."

“Financial Services will be the primary mover on digital asset legislation next Congress regardless of what happens in the next two months, three months,” McHenry said.

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