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Waters Floor Statement on Bipartisan Legislation to Investigate Abuses of Financial Technology

Washington DC, January 28, 2019

Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, gave the following floor statement on H.R. 56, the Financial Technology Protection Act, bipartisan legislation that would strengthen efforts to deter terrorist and illicit abuses of financial technology.

As Prepared for Delivery

I’m so pleased that this body will vote on H.R. 56, the Financial Technology Protection Act, which passed the House in the 115th Congress. This bill would strengthen and expand efforts to deter terrorist and illicit abuses of financial technology through interagency coordination and research, and through collaboration with private institutions and citizens.

As stated in last year’s National Money Laundering Risk Assessment from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, many cryptocurrencies are being designed to make virtual currency transactions untraceable and are increasingly being used by bad actors. The talent and technological capabilities to track these transactions must keep up so the government can identify terrorists, hackers, and other criminals who try to hide their activities and proceeds using cryptocurrencies and related exchanges.

This bill would establish a public-private sector task force, a grant program to encourage the development of largely open-source tracking technology, and a whistleblower reward program to counter terrorist uses of digital currencies.

Also, it would require the government to examine how state and non-state actors, including foreign terrorist organizations, use these cryptocurrencies to evade sanctions, finance terrorism, and launder money. I thank Congressmen Budd and Lynch for re-introducing this bipartisan legislation, and I urge my colleagues to support it.

I reserve the balance of my time.

H.R. 56 was introduced by Congressman Ted Budd (R-NC) and Congressman Stephen Lynch (D-MA), Members of the House Financial Services Committee. Chairwoman Waters selected the bill for floor consideration and worked with Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-NC), Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, to ensure widespread bipartisan support.

The bill passed by a voice vote.


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