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US Sen. Gillibrand Says a Last-Ditch Stablecoin Bill May Still Emerge This Year

Jesse Hamilton

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said the latest effort on a stablecoin regulatory bill is coming soon, and she hopes it can get some attention before Congress transitions into its new session next year.

She’s working with Republican Senators Patrick Toomey (Pa.) and Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.) on “unique” legislation that will establish U.S. rules of the road for the tokens, she said Wednesday.

“This bill we’re working on now – and we hope to introduce it in the next few weeks – would be a comprehensive stablecoin bill that we would ask to at least get a hearing in [the Senate Banking Committee] and maybe get a vote by the end of the Congress,” she said at a Blockchain Association policy event in Washington. Gillibrand and Lummis were the authors of one of the most prominent digital assets oversight bills this year, and this would represent a small piece of that larger effort.

Stablecoins such as Tether’s USDT and Circle Internet Financial’s USDC are typically tied to steady assets such as the dollar, and they occupy a central role in the cryptocurrency industry. U.S. lawmakers have widely agreed that this sector may be one they can get an initial handle on while still working on wider industry oversight.

So far, most of the attention has been on a bipartisan legislative effort in the House Financial Services Committee, though it hasn’t yet emerged as a full-fledged bill. And any further efforts this year in either chamber are increasingly unlikely as they compete in a busy lame-duck session. If the efforts of Gillibrand, Lummis and Toomey fail to find traction, they may influence whatever legislation emerges next year.

Getting a crypto bill through the Banking Committee could also run into heavy suspicion from the panel’s chairman, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), who this week said that cryptocurrencies still don’t offer “anything useful or beneficial.” Republicans had hoped to replace Brown and other Democratic committee chairs in the election this month, but the Democrats maintained a narrow majority.

Earlier on Wednesday, Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire wrote a public letter to Brown, Toomey, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, and Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), the committee’s ranking member, urging them to pass stablecoin legislation quickly.