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US Congress To Hold Hearing On ‘Digital Dollar’ Use For Possible Future Stimulus Payments

US Congress To Hold Hearing On ‘Digital Dollar’ Use For Possible Future Stimulus Payments

The House Financial Services Committee will be holding a hearing to discuss the use of digital tools to improve the delivery of stimulus payments. The Task Force on Financial Technology, created along with the Task Force on Artificial Intelligence last year by Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), has responsibilities examining revisions to FinTech regulation including the legal and regulatory structure of consumer protections, data privacy issues, and consumer engagement.

Congressman Stephen Lynch (D-MA), who serves as Chair of the FinTech Task Force, will oversee a hearing this Thursday at 12pm ET titled, “Inclusive Banking During a Pandemic: Using FedAccounts and Digital Tools to Improve Delivery of Stimulus Payments.”

The notice of the hearing is listed on the House Financial Services website and the scheduled lineup of witnesses includes: Mehrsa Baradaran, Professor of Law, University of California, Irvine School of Law; The Honorable Chris GiancarloSenior Counsel, Willkie Farr & Gallagher and former Chairman, CFTC; Jodie Kelley, CEO, Electronic Transactions Association; and, Morgan Ricks, Professor of Law, Vanderbilt University Law School.

FedAccounts is a term that originated from a bill introduced by Chairwoman Waters titled the ‘Financial Protections and Assistance for America’s Consumers, States, Businesses, and Vulnerable Populations Act.’ H.R. 6321 calls for a digital dollar wallet, which the bill describes as, ‘an account maintained by a Federal reserve bank on behalf of any person, that represents holdings in an electronic device or service that is used to store digital dollars that may be tied to a digital or physical identity.’

The terms of a digital dollar wallet include that it ‘be prominently branded in all account statements, marketing materials, and other communications of the Federal reserve bank as a ‘FedAccount’ maintained by the member bank on behalf of the United States of America…’

Initially, this concept of a digital dollar was part of the CARES Act in a draft of the third stimulus package; however, the digital dollar did not make it into the final CARES Act.

The digital dollar was also mentioned in the “Banking For All Act.”

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