Congressional Debate Reveals Mixed Feelings on Digital Dollar CBDC

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The recent Congressional discussion on the potential introduction of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) showcased a unique blend of opinions, transcending traditional party lines. 

CBDCs still lack sufficient support

While the majority of Republican Representatives expressed reservations about a CBDC, a handful of Democrats shared their scepticism. If put to a vote today, the CBDC might face a challenging path to approval. It’s worth noting that both the Federal Reserve and the Department of Justice have previously emphasised the necessity of Congressional support for a retail CBDC.

Representative French Hill, who chairs the Subcommittee on Digital Assets, Financial Technology, and Inclusion, remarked that the enthusiasm for a CBDC within Congress is limited, with only a few outliers believing it could be a silver bullet for numerous global challenges. 

However, some Democrats are intrigued by the potential of a CBDC. A notable suggestion from their camp was the introduction of eCash, a federal electronic card system designed to address privacy concerns and promote financial inclusivity.

Privacy and banking concerns

While privacy appeared to be a universal concern across both sides of the house, the potential repercussions of a CBDC on the traditional banking system also had both parties talking. Some Democrats, in particular, expressed strong reservations about the CBDC’s implications.

Highlighting concerns about the CBDC’s potential impact on the banking sector, Congressman Casten (Dem) stated that CBDCs, by their very nature, aren’t adaptable. He added that the introduction of a CBDC could lead to reduced lending, potentially contracting the economy.

Congressman doubts Fed’s capabilities

Another voice of concern came from Congressman Sherman, a Democrat, who expressed worries about excessive governmental control. Sherman’s concerns were more about organisations like Planned Parenthood facing banking access issues. He said:

“The power to take somebody out of the banking system is the power to impair if not destroy them,”

Sherman also shared his reservations about the Federal Reserve’s capabilities, with the view that the Fed’s track record in retail is less than stellar. He said that he was worried about the impact on deposits at smaller financial institutions, and stated that the focus should be on supporting local businesses, not just the broader financial system.

With the house reaching some consensus on the downsides of a CBDC implementation, this could effectively halt the progress of a CBDC in the U.S.

This article on Congressional views on CBDCs has been drawn on from an original report published by LedgerInsights

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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