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French Hill Tapped to Head New Crypto Subcommittee in Revamped House

Congressional reorganization is a natural part of any election cycle, and when one or both Houses change hands, these changes can be especially noteworthy.

In 2023, as Republicans took control of leadership in the House of Representatives, the Financial Services Committee will still bear some resemblance to its composition under Rep. Maxine Waters, a Democrat from California, but its new chairman, Rep. Patrick McHenry, did make some key changes with respect to, among other areas, how the committee will handle the fintech space.

As such, McHenry, of North Carolina, announced the sub-committee and leadership structure for the current term. To that end, he tapped Arkansas Republican Rep. French Hill to lead the new Digital Assets, Financial Technology and Inclusion subcommittee aimed at addressing pressing issues facing the crypto industry.

“At a time of major technological advancement and change in the financial sector, it is our job to work across the aisle and promote responsible innovation while encouraging FinTech innovation to flourish safely and effectively in the United States,” Hill said. “I also am proud to serve as the Vice-Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, and I look forward to supporting Chairman McHenry in our work to promote economic prosperity and deliver on our Commitment to America.”

According to information from McHenry’s office, the fintech-driven subcommittee will be responsible for, among other areas:

  • Developing clear “rules of the road” for regulators covering the crypto ecosystem;
  • Developing policies to enhance fintech’s reach into underserved communities; and
  • Identifying ways to strengthen inclusion and diversity in the digital asset space.

“As a former community banker and U.S. Treasury official, Congressman Hill has the experience and expertise necessary to tackle this challenging undertaking. French is a team player, which is one of the reasons why there is no one I trust more with one of my top priorities,” McHenry said. “FinTech—particularly digital assets—holds immense promise as a tool to build a more inclusive financial system. I look forward to working with him to provide clear rules of the road for this ecosystem that protect consumers, while allowing innovation to thrive here in the U.S.”

From Twitter:

Jimmie Lenz @jimmie_lenz  Jan 12

"What an honor it is to have @PatrickMcHenry giving the opening keynote at next weeks @DAatDuke conference, not to mention in his home state of North Carolina. His early focus on digital assets speaks volumes about his understanding of the impact.

Waters’ version of the committee in the 117th Congress did not have a subcommittee explicitly dealing with digital assets and cryptocurrency, but did feature a Task Force on Financial Technology as well as a Task Force on Artificial Intelligence. Recently, Waters put out a statement criticizing the new composition of the committee, which no longer has a dedicated Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee.  

“I am deeply disappointed and disturbed to hear that Committee Republicans plan to eliminate the Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee,” Waters said. “When I assumed the chair in 2019, one of my first moves was to establish this subcommittee in an effort to add greater scrutiny to the financial services industry, which for so long, has been overwhelmingly White and male. Under my leadership and the incredible leadership of former Subcommittee Chair Joyce Beatty, Committee Democrats did just that.”

Under Republican control, there will be five other subcommittees constituting the Financial Services Committee. Those committees are as follows, per McHenry’s announcement:

  • Subcommittee on Capital Markets
  • Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Monetary Policy
  • Subcommittee on National Security, Illicit Finance, and International Financial Institutions
  • Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
  • Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance
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