Crypto-supportive Republican policymakers Patrick McHenry and Cynthia Lummis provided the latest updates on digital asset legislation at Consensus 2023 – and they’re highly optimistic.
The former believes President Biden will have signed the first bill into law directly forming rules around cryptocurrency within the next 12 months.
Progress on the Lummis Bill
During their panel discussion on Friday, Lummis began by clarifying that the next installment of her digital asset regulation bill, the Responsible Financial Innovation Act, will be presented before the Senate within the next 6 to 8 weeks
The legislation – co-authored alongside fellow Senator Kirsten Gillibrand – is designed to bring regulatory clarity across many areas of the digital asset industry, including the classification of cryptocurrencies as either securities or commodities.
Unlike its first draft published in June, however, this bill will include strengthened sections pertaining to protecting national security and tackling cybercrime.
“We want to preserve the important part of the framework that makes sure we’re having a well-understood regulatory framework for both the innovators and the regulators,” said Lummis.
The House’s Plans for Crypto
Pertaining to the House, McHenry – who serves as the chairman of the House Financial Service Committee (HFSC) – confirmed that the HFSC and Agricultural Committee will hold the first joint hearing on the market structure surrounding digital assets this May.
Over the next two months, the group plans to produce a bill that creates a framework for digital assets to evolve from securities into commodities, and which creates room for some assets not to fit neatly into those categories.
When asked if any digital asset legislation would be signed by the President within the next 12 months, McHenry agreed. “I am gonna be able to produce a bill out of the House – I am confident of that,” he followed.
Lummis believes the House will likely move first in getting legislation through before the Senate, due to the inability of the bill to pass on a partisan basis in her chamber. “This is a bipartisan subject that needs to be addressed before the 2024 election,” she added.