Hill Update – February 2023
The new Congress is officially organized with Committees now fully formed and organized. This also brought the first substantial hearings of the year which laid the groundwork of the Committees work and priorities this year.
House Financial Services Accredited Investor Hearing
One of the first hearings of the year was the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets on the accredited investor rule. Chairwoman Ann Wagner and Republicans on the Subcommittee used the hearing to argue for loosening investor protections to allow more Main Street investors into the opaque private markets. Better Markets pushed back against these arguments, instead making the case to strengthen the accredited investor rule to keep up with inflation and protect investors from fraud, abuse, and financial loss. Be sure to read our full fact sheet explaining why the accredited investor rule is needed to protect investors here.
Senate Banking Committee Crypto Hearing
On the Senate side of Capitol Hill, one of their first hearings of the year was titled “Crypto Crash: Why Financial System Safeguards are Needed for Digital Assets.” This was the second hearing for the Senate Banking Committee on crypto following the FTX collapse late last year, and it will continue to be a focus of both Senate and House Committees throughout this Congress. During the hearing, Chairman Sherrod Brown laid out his basic principles that any crypto regulation would need. These principals included important investor protections and transparency rules, preventing conflict of interest, as well as anti-money laundering regulations and clear oversight and supervision. During the hearing, Sen. Elizabeth Warren highlighted that crypto is the vehicle that criminals use to launder money and the need for strong anti-money laundering rules within the space. You can read her important full comments here. Additionally, Sen. Tina Smith raised concerns with crypto in retirement accounts and 401(k)s, following up on letters sent by her, and Sens. Elizabeth Warren, and Dick Durbin to Fidelity last year. Crypto will remain a hot button issue this Congress, so stay up to date on Better Markets work on the issue here.