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Legislation Introduced to Prevent Federal Reserve's CBDC Pilot Program: The Digital Dollar Debate Continues

Congressional Action Seeks to Halt Federal Reserve's Exploration of Central Bank Digital Currency amid Privacy and Surveillance Concerns

Fri, 02 Jun 2023, 10:28 am UTC

Representative Alex Mooney, a prominent figure in the U.S. Congress, recently introduced a legislative measure known as the "Digital Dollar Pilot Prevention Act." This Act's primary goal is to halt the Federal Reserve's potential move toward establishing a central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot program.

The legislative action aims to impose a blanket restriction on the Federal Reserve, barring it from initiating, executing, or sanctioning any program built around examining the viability of CBDC issuance.

According to Representative Mooney, it is of utmost necessity for Congress to remain resolute when it comes to CBDCs. He underscored the importance of closing this pilot program loophole as a crucial step to ensure that the Federal Reserve does not circumvent Congress' intended course of action.

A growing chorus of voices is expressing concerns about CBDCs, particularly in terms of individual privacy and potential government surveillance. Mooney further highlighted how the Federal Reserve raised eyebrows last year with its ventures into CBDC pilot projects, even going as far as collaborating with private sector entities to explore potential CBDC frameworks for the United States, a move extending beyond their typical scope of research.

On the Congressional front, multiple CBDC-related bills are in the pipeline, with Senator Ted Cruz's "No Digital Dollar Act" and Representative Tom Emmer's "CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act" standing out. Furthermore, several states are pushing back against the Federal Reserve's attempt to roll out a digital dollar. Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis led the way by signing a law in March that prohibits CBDC usage within his state's borders.

Yet, despite these moves, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has asserted that the Federal Reserve is not at a point where it's prepared to make concrete decisions, instead stating that the institution is currently in a phase of preliminary exploration.

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