WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Banking Committee, today in a hearing urged Rohit Chopra, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, not to use the power of his agency to stifle innovation in the cryptocurrency space:
“Digital ledger technology offers a tremendous amount of promise in terms of financial innovation and inclusion. It’s an industry where I think the United States is leading, has led, and I’d like to see us continue to lead there. Especially when we look at other countries like China and the Chinese Communist Party that has moved to ban private sector activity in that arena,” Senator Hagerty noted.
Chopra agreed that the agency should not pick winners and losers using regulation and enforcement: “I think one of the things that is going to be a priority for me is making sure that regulation and enforcement is not just empowering the incumbents even more. We need more entry, we need more dynamism, we need more innovation, and the way to do that is to not pick winners and losers by crowning incumbents further,” Director Chopra said.
Hagerty agrees that the CFPB should not be picking winners and losers, but the CFPB’s vast regulatory power highlights the need for increased CFPB accountability.
To this end, Hagerty has introduced legislation that would make the CFPB more accountable to the American people by requiring that its funding be appropriated by Congress, as is the case for other Executive Branch agencies. Currently, the Federal Reserve is required to provide whatever funding that the CFPB requests within certain limits, a highly unusual arrangement that allows the CFPB to avoid the fiscal accountability to which the rest of the Executive Branch is subject.
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