Key Democrat Touts Progress on Stablecoin, Marijuana Legislation

(Bloomberg) -- Representative Maxine Waters, the top Democrat on the Financial Services Committee, predicted Wednesday that she and Chairman Patrick McHenry would soon have a deal on legislation regulating stablecoins, and said she’s pushing for marijuana banking legislation as well.

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“We are on our way to getting a stablecoin bill in the short run,” Waters said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Balance of Power.”

Waters, who represents a district south of Los Angeles, added that the legislation that she and McHenry, a North Carolina Republican, have been negotiating for 22 months might need a few more tweaks, but “is going to bring everybody together.”

She pointed out that she’d discussed stablecoins with both Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Banking Chairman Sherrod Brown, and said the US Federal Reserve, the Treasury Department and the White House have all had input in crafting the bill.

Earlier: Push for Stablecoin Law Gets Surprise Boost from Sherrod Brown

“It’s about making sure investors and that the people are protected,” Waters said. “We have to ensure that they have those assets to back up stablecoins.”

Federal regulation could lend legitimacy to the asset class that, in turn, could lead to broader adoption.

Waters said she hoped that a marijuana banking bill that Brown’s committee has advanced could also become law. Although marijuana has become legal in many parts of the country, federal restrictions have largely kept the cannabis industry out of the banking system. That has forced businesses to operate chiefly with cash.

“Now is the time,” she said, adding that she’s hopeful the Senate can overcome potential opposition to the marijuana legislation from Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.

Brown last week told Bloomberg he is open to an agreement that would pair stablecoin legislation with the marijuana banking bill as well as a bill to claw back the compensation of executives at failed lenders.

Lawmakers are considering attaching the package to the must-pass Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization due next month.

--With assistance from Kailey Leinz and Joe Mathieu.

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