Democrats criticized the stablecoin bill on Wednesday for not being as “bipartisan” as initially planned.

The bill, created by Reps. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Patrick McHenry (RN.C.) last year, was praised by Republicans but criticized by their left-wing counterparts as “outdated.”

starting from scratch

The House Committee on Financial Services released a preview version of the April 15 stablecoin bill, designed to “provide requirements for issuers of payment stablecoins,” along with “research on a digital dollar.” Stablecoins are digital assets pegged to fiat currencies like dollars or euros, acting like digital dollars that don’t use a bank and instead use blockchain’s settlement guarantees.

The currently unnamed legislation was discussed at length between Waters, McHenry and other members of Congress last year, with the Treasury Department. contributing to create the first specific laws adapted to an important part of the crypto industry.

However, when he read the full first draft during a committee hearing on Wednesday, Waters said the bill felt completely different from what had been discussed.

“Mr. McHenry somewhat alarmed me when you said that members on your side of the aisle had introduced an entirely new bill,” Waters said. “The published bill in no way represents…negotiations between the two of us…I think we are starting from scratch”.

Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.), the top Democrat on the digital assets subcommittee, questioned the very function of stablecoins, noting that they are used more often for “speculative cryptocurrency trading and investment” than for actual payments.

The optimistic vision

McHenry, who serves as chair of the committee, opposed this stance, saying the bill is important “both internationally and nationally.”

Rep. French Hill (R-Ark.) also found the bill to be more bipartisan than previously thought, calling it “Maxine McHenry.”

However, both McHenry and Waters agreed that a lot had happened since the last negotiations on the bill took place, including the collapse of FTX. They also agreed that swift action was needed to update the bill to ensure the United States caught up with the rest of the world.

The proposed bill would prohibit any company from issuing stablecoins other than subsidiaries of insured depository institutions or licensed non-bank entities.

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