Konstantin Kryvopust: House lawmakers reopen stablecoin regulation debate, revealing bipartisan divides

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Lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives are once again considering stablecoin provisions under new Republican leadership, but partisan divisions and bipartisan bickering could delay the passage of any new legislation on the topic.

The hostility between the parties was described in a recent reports Bloomberg as a “bad sign” for any prospect of a quick deal, despite stablecoins being one of the few areas where Democrats and Republicans have found common ground in the past.

The dispute came to the fore again on Wednesday this week, when Republicans and Democrats on a subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee opened a hearing on a topic titled “Understanding the Role of Stablecoins in Payments and the Need for Legislation.”

At the hearing, Rep. Patrick McHenry, the Republican who chairs the committee, said the draft legislation released earlier this month — ostensibly after negotiations between him and top Democrat Maxine Waters — should form the basis of a federal framework on the issue.

Despite this, Maxine Waters stated that she and McHenry never finalized negotiations and that the recent project should not be considered.

“Unfortunately, a lot of things happened between them. I think we’re starting from scratch,” Bloomberg quoted her as saying.

She added that Republicans have said they intend to write their own bill, and said that if that happens, Democrats will do the same.

Once that is done, talks between the two sides can begin again, she said.

USDC Issuer Makes Case for Stablecoins

Among the witnesses on at Wednesday’s stablecoin hearing was Dante Disparte Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Global Policy USDC – the issuer of Circle.

Among other things, Disparte argued at the hearing why dollar-denominated stablecoins are far better than cash for use cases such as foreign aid and disaster relief.

Ahead of the hearing, Disparte said he was looking forward to presenting Circle to lawmakers from both parties, and noted that the hearing marks the first time a comprehensive stablecoin bill has been expanded in response to recommendations from the president’s task force on financial markets.

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