There’s growing momentum on Capitol Hill for bills that would ban members of Congress from trading stocks — but the legislation would likely apply to cryptocurrencies as well, The Post has learned.
An upcoming Bill of the Senses. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) Would bar members of Congress from owning or trading commodities, stocks or other individual securities that could produce conflicts of interest, a source close to said the legislation.
Regulators are still debating how to classify cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum, but there is a general consensus in the United States that they are either commodities or securities.
Therefore, even though the Warren-Daines bill does not mention cryptocurrencies by name, it is highly likely that its passage would require members of Congress who own cryptocurrencies to sell their stakes in order to comply.
Currently, three members of the US Senate have declared owning cryptocurrencies – Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) and Pat Toomey (R-Penn.). In the House, Reps. Marie Newman (D-Ill.), Mark Green (R-Tenn.), and Barry Moore (R-Ala.) and others have also personally traded cryptocurrencies or reported that their immediate families were doing so, according to Financial Disclosures.
Reviews Argue that members of Congress should not be allowed to trade cryptocurrencies as they consider bills that could impact the $2 trillion crypto market – just as they say the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi shouldn’t be making millions trading shares of the Big Tech companies she regulates.
“Congress is obviously going to have to act in the crypto space — or decide it won’t,” Kia Hamadanchy, senior government affairs official at the left-leaning group Progressive Campaign Change Committee, told The Post. “It’s hard to say people won’t have a financial stake in this.”
Although the Warren-Daines bill is a long way from passing, it seems to be gaining momentum, with the senses. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) Signing in recent days and a companion bill to the works of Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.), According to sources.
Like the Warren-Daines bill, legislation introduced last month by the senses. Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) and Mark Kelly (D-Arizona) with the support of eight other Senate Democrats would also ban members of Congress from trading in securities and commodities – categories that would again likely include cryptocurrencies. .
But unlike the Warren-Daines bill, the Ossoff-Kelly bill would allow senators to place their assets in a blind trust while in office and then assume control afterward, rather than force to sell the assets completely.
Congressional leaders including Pelosi (D-Calif.), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) have all signaled their support to legislation prohibiting stock trading – although none endorsed any particular bill. and Pelosi showed little enthusiasm for the effort.
A final bill capable of garnering 60 votes in the Senate would likely be a consolidation of the Warren-Daines bill, the Ossoff-Kelly bill and other proposals, a source familiar with the Senate negotiations said.
As senators debate how to combine the proposals, cryptocurrency trading is on the table, but there is no clear consensus on whether to ban it, the source said.
Other negotiating points relate to whether the ban should also cover transactions made by spouses, immediate families or staff members of members of Congress. A ban on trade by spouses may have to be dropped in order to garner GOP support, sources said.