Renowned Democrat seeks Gensler and Yellen for thoughts on Republican-led crypto bill

CRYPT — In the coming weeks, a committee will vote on a Republican-led measure to establish regulations for the digital asset market. The bill prompted testimony from SEC Chairman Gary Gensler and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. According to a statement on Monday, Maxine Waters, the ranking Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, wrote letters to the two, asking for their input on the draft digital asset market structure discussion.

If the bill were to pass, Waters wanted to know from Gensler how the SEC’s current powers would be affected. “Also, if there are any recommendations or changes to existing law outside the scope of the bill that you believe would protect investors in the digital asset space, I would also like to hear your perspective,” Waters wrote to Gensler on June 23. The bill was introduced earlier this month by House Agriculture Committee Chairman Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, R-Pa., and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Patrick McHenry, RN.C. This is an effort to pave the way for the reclassification of digital tokens from security grade to commodity grade.

Waters has previously expressed dissatisfaction with the bill’s consumer protections. Yellen and Gensler were asked by Waters “to be prepared to brief members of the House Financial Services Committee on your views and recommendations, following the submission of your written response to this letter.” According to Waters, all responses must be received by June 30.

Gensler said new legislation is not needed because crypto is currently regulated by existing rules. As for Yellen, she recently expressed her desire for more crypto legislation to pass through Congress, citing “holes in the system. Waters testified at a hearing this month that the bill could impede SEC operations, underscoring divisions between Republicans and Democrats on the House Financial Services Committee.

On June 13, Waters argued that the measure would prevent the SEC from taking action against cryptocurrency companies, even if they had committed fraud. As the authors put it, “this interim registration could reward bad actors with a ‘get out of jail’ card and allow them to continue harming consumers and investors.” McHenry announced that a committee vote on the bill will take place the second week of July.

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