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The top Republican on the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), said he’s seeking common ground with Democrats to make his earlier proposal on stablecoin oversight a bipartisan effort, and Chairman Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) confirmed he’s been involved in the discussion.
“The first place where we should be able to find common ground, and I actually think in many cases are close, is to chart a path forward for clear and sensible regulations on stablecoins,” Toomey said at a Wednesday committee hearing, mentioning his own push for oversight of the tokens.
“I'm in discussion with several members to make this proposal a bipartisan one,” said Toomey, who called his proposal a “starting point.”
Still the key voice that’s been missing was the panel’s chairman, Brown, who made a brief remark Thursday after Toomey’s mention of the stablecoin proposal.
“Senator Toomey and I have talked about this,” Brown said, noting that the two have “a different view generally” over the intensity of regulation needed. However, he added that “we want to get to that; we want the regulators to go as far as they can go.”
Stablecoins are designed to maintain steady value by tying them to assets such as the dollar, and leading tokens – such as Tether’s USDT and Circle Internet Financial’s USDC – are a key component of the crypto market, because they allow investors to reliably trade in and out of more volatile digital assets.
Toomey’s proposal pushes for full disclosure of reserves that back stablecoins, and it would set up the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency as a key regulator of the issuers. But a bipartisan negotiation in the House of Representatives has so far been considered the leading effort toward setting up guardrails for U.S. stablecoins, though the talks in the House Financial Services Committee have been delayed past the upcoming August recess.
Also at the Thursday hearing, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said she's poised to release a bill “to regulate the crypto market and stamp out the worst scams.” In March, she'd introduced a bill addressing sanctions compliance in crypto.