McHenry Takes the Reins: Crypto-Friendly Speaker
Patrick McHenry, a figure well-recognized for his advocacy of cryptocurrencies and their integration into the legislative landscape, has stepped into the role of interim House Speaker following the rather dramatic ousting of Kevin McCarthy, the erstwhile U.S. House speaker.
The removal of McCarthy unfolded through a consequential Congressional vote, standing at a numerical count of 216-210. It's worth noting that eight of the 216 votes against McCarthy hailed from his own party members. This event carved a significant mark in the annals of U.S. history, being the inaugural instance where a House Speaker was unseated, a noteworthy detail relayed by Reuters.
The genesis of this vote can be traced back to a motion set in motion by one of McCarthy's political adversaries, Matt Gaetz. Gaetz cast a spotlight on the perplexing array of contradictory commitments attributed to McCarthy.
While McHenry's ascendancy to the interim House Speaker position is temporaneous, it symbolizes a moment of triumph for the digital asset realm. The Speaker wields the authority to shape the legislative agenda of the House, dictate committee appointments, and orchestrate the discourse and balloting on specific bills within the chamber.
This pivotal role, often regarded as one of paramount influence in the U.S. government, stands second only to the President and Vice President in terms of its magnitude and sway.
Concurrently, McHenry has emerged as a notable opponent of the Securities Exchange Commission's (SEC) enforcement-centric approach to regulating the cryptocurrency domain.
In a recent congressional hearing, McHenry subjected SEC Chair Gary Gensler to intense scrutiny, implying a concerted effort to stifle the burgeoning digital asset ecosystem. Gensler was also taken to task for withholding crucial information from Congress regarding the SEC's affiliations with FTX and its former CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried.
SEC Chair @GaryGensler refuses to schedule a Commission vote to provide Congress with requested documents.— Patrick McHenry (@PatrickMcHenry) October 2, 2023
Should Gensler continue to stonewall, Republicans will have no choice but to issue the first subpoena to the SEC from my Committee to compel their production. https://t.co/Aw5U0aJ0Tt
Furthermore, on June 1, McHenry unveiled the "Digital Asset Market Structure Proposal" discussion draft, a document purporting to bring lucidity, address regulatory voids, and stimulate innovation within the cryptocurrency sphere. This proposal garnered praise from several stalwarts within the industry.
However, the tenure of McHenry as House Speaker is shrouded in a veil of transience, as an official vote to elect a new House Speaker is slated for the 11th of October, as per Bloomberg's reporting.
In a speculative vein, a Reuters report contemplates the potential successors to McCarthy. Besides McHenry, there looms the prospect of the pro-crypto Representative Tom Emmer or even Donald Trump assuming this mantle. However, it is worth noting that none of these figures have publicly expressed a concrete intent to vie for this prestigious role.
50-50 we get a crypto champion as Speaker now, with Whip Emmer and Speaker pro tempore McHenry in the running. Wild day.— Ryan Selkis ???? (@twobitidiot) October 3, 2023
(Speaker of the House is third in power behind President and VP for the non-US followers out there.) https://t.co/2ow5li2lnw
Meanwhile, McCarthy has firmly confirmed his decision to eschew the prospect of contending for the position of House Speaker in any future elections.