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A proposed legislation seeks to curtail the Federal Reserve’s authority to issue a central bank digital currency (CBDC), which Representative Tom Emmer has labeled as a tool for surveillance that threatens the American way of life.
Representative Tom Emmer, along with 49 original co-sponsors, has reintroduced the “CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act” in the United States House of Representatives. Their aim is to safeguard the financial privacy rights of Americans by preventing “unelected bureaucrats in Washington” from introducing a central bank digital currency (CBDC).
Emmer, a Republican, voiced his concerns, stating, “The administration’s stance is clear: President Biden is willing to compromise Americans’ financial privacy for the sake of a surveillance-oriented CBDC.” He further added, “That’s why I’m reintroducing my groundbreaking legislation to establish a check on unelected officials and ensure that the United States’ digital currency policy aligns with our values of privacy, individual autonomy, and free-market competitiveness.”
Emmer initially proposed this bill in January 2022 to address CBDCs, formally introducing it to Congress in February 2023. The bill’s primary objective is to restrict the Federal Reserve from creating a programmable digital dollar, which Emmer argues could serve as a surveillance tool undermining the American way of life.
The bill explicitly prohibits the Federal Reserve from distributing a CBDC to individuals, a measure Emmer believes will prevent it from morphing into a retail bank capable of collecting personal financial data. Additionally, the bill bars the central bank from employing a CBDC for implementing monetary policies.
In March, Tom Emmer cautioned against the weaponization of currency as the federal government seeks to maintain and expand its control over finances. U.S. presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. voiced a similar sentiment in May, stating, “This is why I oppose CBDCs, which will significantly enhance the government’s power to stifle dissent by cutting off access to funds with a simple keystroke.”
Notable supporters of the CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act include Senators French Hill, Warren Davidson, and Mike Flood.