Tom Emmer, a Republican U.S. Representative from Minnesota recognized for championing cryptocurrencies and voicing concerns over regulatory measures, has declared his candidacy for the role of House Speaker.
He’s among a group of nine contenders for the leadership spot, with notable names like Representatives Byron Donalds of Florida and Pete Sessions of Texas in the mix.
With his previous role as the House Majority Whip, Emmer has actively spearheaded several cryptocurrency-related legislative initiatives.
He proposed a bill aiming to redefine tokens and another that sought to restrict the Federal Reserve from rolling out a central bank digital currency (CBDC).
Tom Emmer has consistently advocated for a well-defined regulatory structure for digital currencies. He has also been openly critical of the approach of SEC Chair Gary Gensler, describing it as a tactic of “regulation through intimidation” in the context of digital assets.
Kevin McCarthy, the former House Speaker from California and a fellow Republican, is believed to have endorsed Emmer for the position.
During a recent appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” McCarthy expressed urgency for Emmer’s election, stating the Minnesota Representative should secure the role this week.
Earlier in the month, McCarthy was dethroned from his leadership position after internal disputes with several lawmakers, including Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida.
After McCarthy’s exit, the position of US House Speaker was briefly held by Patrick McHenry, another congressman known for his favorable stance on cryptocurrencies, until a more permanent replacement could be found.
Crypto Bills Fail to Progress
The void left by McCarthy has allegedly slowed the progression of key crypto-focused bills.
Even though two cryptocurrency-related bills have moved forward under the House Financial Services Committee, led by McHenry, their further trajectory hinges on the appointment of a new House Speaker.
Candidates Donalds and Sessions are among those who have articulated their backing for cryptocurrency innovation.
In July, Donalds took to social platforms to voice concerns over the indecision from Congress and a perceived stringent approach by the SEC, which he believes hinders blockchain pioneers from thriving in the U.S. business environment.
Other contenders like Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio and Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana have previously thrown their hats in the ring for the House Speaker role, but couldn’t clinch enough votes to secure the position.
The House is set to gather on Monday, and the selection for the House Speaker could be on the agenda as soon as Tuesday.
The week also sees the House Financial Services Committee lining up a series of hearings. A significant session slated for Wednesday is centered on “Modernizing Financial Services Through Innovation and Competition” in the realm of digital assets.
Additional sessions will delve into matters like Hamas’s evasion of sanctions and Iran’s financial access.
It’s worth noting that some lawmakers, including Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, have expressed apprehension about Hamas’s utilization of cryptocurrencies to amass millions prior to initiating hostilities against Israel.