Bills focused on crypto regulation, market structure, and stablecoins could all be put on hold if U.S. lawmakers don’t reach a decision on government spending by Sept. 30.
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The United States government could be shut down in the next 7 days with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy facing political pressure from members of his own party on how to handle spending plans — a decision that could adversely affect how lawmakers move forward with crypto bills awaiting a vote.
In July, U.S. lawmakers with the House Financial Services Committee voted in favor of the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act (FIT), the Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act, the Clarity for Payment Stablecoins Act and the Keep Your Coins Act. The passages were a first for the committee to move forward with so many crypto-focused bills, which could lea to a House floor vote in the current session of Congress.
A shutdown, unsurprisingly, would halt lawmakers from moving forward on any pieces of legislation until they resolve the issue of funding the U.S. government into the next fiscal year. Though shutdowns are not unheard of in the history of the U.S. government, the reasons behind them seem to have shifted over the years from public concerns over funding to political maneuvers.
“It is seeming more and more likely there will be a shutdown with the fractured House [Republican] divisions and Senate going in their own direction,” said the Blockchain Association’s director of government relations Ron Hammond on X. “For crypto the longer the shutdown goes on, the more various bills including FIT/market structure and stables get pushed.”
14) However for crypto this is big as the Senate was always the obstacle for legislation getting signed into law. Whenever the shutdown fiasco subsides, this will be an important dynamic to watch. Whether you’re watching the shutdown fight or Gensler this week, get yourready!
— Ron Hammond (@RonwHammond) September 25, 2023
According to Hammond, some of the bills have bipartisan support and are likely to pass in floor votes. However, there were a lot of “landmines politically that can tank either bill”, such as the two major parties’ different approaches to stablecoin legislation.
Lawmakers have until Sept. 30 — before the next fiscal year — to come to an agreement on the spending bills. A shutdown would effectively stop all federal agencies from doing anything considered “non-essential”, which would include many actions from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission overseeing digital assets.
As of Sept. 25, Speaker McCarthy was reportedly planning to introduce spending bills that would include restrictions on abortion access, funding for the construction of a U.S.-Mexico border wall, and other initiatives with wide support among far-right members of the Republican Party, but unlikely to be approved by Democrats. The House of Representatives will convene on Sept. 26 to address the issue, while the Senate is scheduled to consider its own stopgap funding measure.