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The Republican Recap: Week of May 20, 2024

Here’s a recap of what Republicans achieved on the House Floor this week:

Preventing Illegal Aliens from Voting in U.S. Elections ✅

On November 21, 2022, the D.C. Council voted to disregard federal law and enact a bill that allows noncitizens, including illegal immigrants, to vote in D.C. local elections. The bill, the Local Resident Voting Rights Amendment Act (D.C. Law 24-0242), disenfranchises American citizens and could have a ripple effect across other large U.S. cities. 

To add insult to injury, this legislation makes no exception for foreign nationals or diplomats voting in D.C. elections. This means that representatives from other countries, including agents of the Chinese Communist Party, can vote in D.C. elections, even though their interests are often separate or opposed to American interests.

This D.C. law is unjust and against federal law, minimizing the voice of American citizens by diluting their votes with votes from foreign diplomats and illegal immigrants. In February 2023, House Republicans, along with 42 Democrats, passed a resolution to overturn the D.C. Council’s bill to allow illegal immigrants to vote – H.J. Res. 24. Despite bipartisan support, Senate Democrats refused to take up the legislation and the law has gone into effect.

It’s common sense: Only American citizens should be able to vote in U.S. elections, as is dictated by federal law.

Rep. August Pfluger’s legislation, H.R. 192, repeals the D.C. Council’s Local Resident Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2022 and prevents individuals who are not United States citizens from voting in elections in the District of Columbia. 

“Free and fair elections are a prerequisite for a healthy republic. The radical D.C. Council decision to allow noncitizens—including illegal aliens and foreign agents—to vote in elections dilutes the voting power of the citizen voter. My legislation restores the sanctity of the voting process and ensures that only American citizens are voting in our Nation’s capital,” said Rep. August Pfluger.

What Members Said:
“The Left knows they can flood this country with millions of people. If the Left can promise those millions of people that the Democrats are the party that will feed them, will house them, will transport them, will educate them for free at the American taxpayer’s back and that Republicans will take that away, then the Democrats can use the millions of illegal immigrants as political pawns to increase their power. It's shameless. It's wrong. It's unAmerican. And for years, conservatives have warned about this,” said Rep. Jeff Van Drew. “Yesterday's conspiracy is today's reality. I strongly support H.R. 192 to prohibit noncitizens from voting in elections here in D.C. This is a dangerous and bad precedent and an unAmerican attempt at gaining power, and it needs to be stopped here and it needs to be stopped now. We have to stand up.”

Click here or on the image above to view Rep. Van Drew's remarks.

Majority Leader Steve Scalise highlighted that 143 House Democrats voted against banning non-citizens from voting in D.C. elections, including illegal immigrants and Chinese diplomats.  

Rep. Claudia Tenney stressed that safeguarding our elections starts with ensuring only American citizens vote in American elections.  

Protecting Americans’ Financial Privacy in Digital Transactions ✅

A CBDC, or central bank digital currency, is a sovereign digital currency issued and regulated by a government and recorded on a digital ledger controlled by that government – giving the government the ability to monitor any transactions and use the currency as a financial weapon to stifle political adversity. 

While decentralized digital currency like Bitcoin is outside the control of any one person, group, or entity, and engages in marketplace competition, a government-controlled CBDC, if it is not modeled to emulate cash, allows unelected bureaucrats to collect transaction data on and surveil citizens. For example, in China, the CCP created a CBDC that tracks citizens’ digital transactions, and then uses that data to reward or punish them for their financial behavior through a social credit system

Now, the Biden Administration has indicated its interest in creating a similar surveillance style CBDC, issuing an executive order prompting extensive CBDC research and development. We cannot allow the Biden Administration to wreak havoc on Americans’ financial privacy and individual freedom by creating a CBDC under the complete control of the Administrative state.

Majority Whip Tom Emmer’s legislation, H.R. 5403, the CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act, blocks the Federal Reserve from directly or indirectly issuing a CBDC to any individual, prevents the Federal Reserve from using a CBDC to implement monetary policy, and requires Congress to authorize the issuance of any CBDC, protecting Americans’ financial privacy and freedom from government control.

“If not open, permissionless, and private – like cash – a central bank digital currency (CBDC) is nothing more than a big government surveillance tool that will be weaponized to oppress Americans’ freedom and right to privacy. With the passage of the CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act, House Republicans voted to stop unelected bureaucrats in the Biden Administration from issuing a CCP-style surveillance tool that could give them the ability to monitor and restrict the American people’s individual purchases. Our bill ensures that Congress – not the Administrative State – retains the authority over the United States’ digital currency policy so that it reflects our American values of privacy, individual sovereignty, and free market competitiveness,” said Majority Whip Tom Emmer. 

What Members Said:

“Many of my constituents, my bosses, were rightfully concerned when the President's administration announced its intention to surveil their pocketbooks over transactions as low as $600. A central bank digital currency would be infinitely worse. It would give the government unprecedented visibility and control into Americans’ transactions. What does that mean in practice? It means that it's much easier to track purchases of things that the government doesn't like, like firearms or other items disapproved by the government. It's much easier for the government to shut down dissenting voices, and it's much easier for the government to control Americans,” said Rep. Scott Perry. “We should learn the lessons from the oppressed citizens everywhere from Canada to the Communist Chinese, before it's too late.”

Click here or on the image above to view Rep. Perry's remarks.

Rep. Steve Womack emphasized how H.R. 5403 prohibits unelected bureaucrats at the Federal Reserve from issuing CBDCs, protecting our free-market economy and ensuring Americans’ hard-earned money can’t be used against them.

Establishing a Clear Regulatory Framework for Digital Assets ✅

As cryptocurrency and digital assets grow in popularity and potential to shape future internet technology and monetary policy, America’s lack of a clear regulatory framework is holding us back, stifling innovation, and putting American consumers at risk. Without regulatory clarity, responsible actors who would innovate and grow new goods and services in this rising digital market are hindered, while bad actors use the lack of certainty to flourish – and confusion prevents the public from telling which is which. 

Meanwhile, regulators like the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) have taken an enforce-first, clarify-later approach to digital asset regulation that leaves developers, brokers, dealers, and consumers in the dark, while expanding their own power and jurisdiction at will and acting without direction from Congress. 

It is vital Congress establish a clear regulatory framework for digital assets to strengthen consumer protections that aren’t in place today, promote innovation, increase transparency in both federal requirements and market participants, and draw the line between SEC and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) jurisdictions. House Republicans passed legislation to ensure the United States remains a global leader in the finance sector now and in the future.

H.R. 4763, the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act, introduced by Chairman GT Thompson, establishes a clear regulatory framework for digital assets, clarifies the CFTC’s jurisdiction over digital commodities and the SEC’s jurisdiction over digital assets offered as part of an investment contract, and implements strong consumer protections.

“Clarity in digital assets is crucial. Today's bipartisan passage of FIT21 is a significant milestone. It underscores the House Committees on Agriculture and Financial Services' efforts to establish a much-needed regulatory framework,” said Chairman GT Thompson. “This framework is designed to protect consumers and investors while fostering American leadership in the digital asset space. I extend my thanks to Chairman McHenry for his leadership and that of our subcommittee chairs, Rep. Johnson and Rep. Hill, in moving this legislation.”

What Members Said:

“Millions of Americans from all backgrounds see digital assets as one of the many options to take wealth creation into their own hands. Unfortunately, U.S. is falling behind compared to other countries, and we have yet to establish a viable regulatory framework for digital assets,” said Rep. Young Kim. “The FIT21 Act would enable innovation to flourish and the United States to lead the world in the development of digital assets. The EU, the UK, Hong Kong, and the list goes on, have established or are in the process of establishing a regulatory framework. The development of technologies and new financial services tools should be taking place here, not elsewhere.”

Click here or on the image above to view Rep. Kim's remarks.

Rep. Barry Loudermilk celebrated the passage of H.R. 4763 and noted that digital assets are a $2.62 trillion asset class that need regulatory clarity.