Rep. Tom Emmer Resubmits Bill in Congress Opposing Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs)

Representative Tom Emmer has reintroduced legislation in Congress with the aim of preventing what he perceives as unwarranted government intrusion into Americans’ financial privacy through the issuance of a central bank digital currency (CBDC). On September 12, Emmer, along with 49 original co-sponsors, revived the “CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act” in the United States House of Representatives, asserting that their goal is to safeguard the financial privacy rights of American citizens.

In a statement, Emmer, a Republican, voiced his concerns, stating, “The administration has made it clear: President Biden is willing to compromise the American people’s right to financial privacy for a surveillance-style CBDC.” He emphasized his motivation for reintroducing this legislation, saying, “That’s why I’m reintroducing my landmark legislation to put a check on unelected bureaucrats and ensure the United States’ digital currency policy upholds our values of privacy, individual sovereignty, and free-market competitiveness.”

Emmer had originally proposed this bill to address CBDCs in January 2022. It was formally introduced to Congress in February 2023 with the objective of constraining the Federal Reserve from creating a programmable digital dollar, which Emmer contends could be used as a “surveillance tool” detrimental to the American way of life.

The bill has specific provisions that prohibit the Federal Reserve from issuing CBDCs to individuals, a move that Emmer believes would prevent the central bank from morphing into a retail bank capable of collecting individuals’ personal financial data. Additionally, the legislation bars the central bank from using any CBDC as a tool for implementing monetary policy.

In March, Tom Emmer cautioned against the potential weaponization of money by the federal government in its pursuit of maintaining and expanding financial control. This sentiment was echoed by U.S. presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in May when he asserted, “That is why I oppose CBDCs, which will vastly magnify the government’s power to suffocate dissent by cutting off access to funds with a keystroke.”

The CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act has garnered support from other influential figures, including Senators French Hill, Warren Davidson, and Mike Flood, who share Emmer’s concerns about preserving financial privacy and limiting government overreach.

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