Stablecoin bill is 'not happening this Congress,' says Rep. Himes

Quick Take

  • Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., threw cold water on the idea that a stablecoin bill could pass before the current term of Congress ends in January.
  • For months, lawmakers on the House Financial Services Committee have been negotiating new regulations for stablecoins.

A stablecoin bill is not passing any time soon, Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., said during a financial conference on Tuesday.

The bill is “not happening this Congress” due to the upcoming elections, said Himes, who sits on the House Financial Services Committee. The lawmaker made the remarks during CoinDesk’s Investing in Digital Enterprises and Assets Summit.

“It’s probably not happening in early 2023,” Himes said, later noting:

“Four years ago if you said Bitcoin, crypto and DeFi in the halls of Congress, nobody would have known what you were talking about. The progress that has been made in Congress is pretty remarkable.”

Lawmakers on Himes’ committee have been working behind the scenes for months to draft a stablecoin bill. The Biden administration has also taken a closer look at stablecoins in recent months, as demonstrated through a series of digital asset reports it has released over the last two months.

Considering the current partisan divide, the stablecoin bill came in "record time," said the congressman.

He also argued that regulators are probably "stretched to act within the law" and that it's time for "Congress to get serious about updating statutes that allow the regulators to do their work."

"If the regulators continue to do what they're doing right now, which is sort of extrapolating or regulating by analogy, that opens up the court challenges," he said. 

Himes said that the Senate bill on crypto regulation authored by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Cynthia Lummis is "getting momentum."

Lummis said last week that the bill could land on President Joe Biden’s desk for signature in the next six months.

On the topic of a future central bank digital currency, Himes said: “I do think there probably is a market for an instrument that has that full faith and credit.”

Earlier this year, the Fed published a report weighing the pros and cons of a central bank digital currency, but last month Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said that it would probably not happen in the near future.

Note: This report was updated with additional quotes from Rep. Jim Himes.

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