These alterations aid in reducing administrative processes while also only expanding the abilities the Treasury can uphold, but it goes even deeper.
The sixth newly-inducted “special measures” provision under America Competes Act is highlighted as the Treasury’s newfound ability to consider anything it sees fit as “transmittal of funds,” effectively gifting the Department a prohibition permit upon financial institutions, disallowing them any action if the Secretary deems any of their transactions as a money laundering concern.
Underlying this “special measure” is the note on even foreign jurisdiction becoming an open play. In other words, the Secretary can (and most probably will when necessary) prohibit crypto transactions without the need for any due processes.
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The new directorate’s budget would start out at $1.4 billion and ramp up to $3.4 billion, totalling almost $13.3 billion over the five years, whereas USICA envisions providing the directorate with a total of $29 billion over that period.
There have also been substantial philosophical differences between the Senate and the House Science Committee over the new directorate, with the latter proposing it focus on addressing “societal challenges” that include but are not limited to work on strategic technologies. Accordingly, the COMPETES Act refers to the new entity as the Science and Engineering Solutions Directorate, whereas USICA calls it the Technology and Innovation Directorate.
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“ Otherwise permitted by law” is a regrettably common catch-all in legislation which basically means “if the Department’s lawyers can find a credible authority anywhere on the books to do something, then they can do it. Rather than have a specific process for imposing these harsh and constitutionally suspect controls, says the proposed law, any process will do.
That’s the gist of it, continue reading for the details.
Details of the provision
In summary, the provision would do two things:
- Remove all public notice and administrative process and duration limitations on the Secretary’s existing power to surveil, condition, or prohibit customer activities at domestic financial institutions associated with primary money laundering concerns (sometimes referred to as “special measures” and found at 31 U.S.C. § 5318A).
- Expand the list of “special measures” the Secretary can take to include prohibiting or conditioning any transaction deemed a “transmittal of funds.”
We’ll look at the process changes first and then the new “transmittal of funds” special measure second.
Below, the current law is redlined to show how it would read if this new provision was to be passed into law.
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In its own proposal, the Biden administration has called it the Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships Directorate.
The Science Committee’s legislation also focuses more on building up NSF as a whole and includes extensive direction for existing programs, addressing areas such as STEM education and broadening participation in STEM fields among underrepresented groups.
Provisions for the DOE Office of Science would recommend that Congress ramp up the office’s annual budget from $7.0 billion to $11.1 billion, adding a cumulative $15.3 billion over five years, close to the $17 billion USICA would recommend for DOE. As with NSF, the COMPETES Act also provides extensive direction for the office across its programs, with focal points in areas such as quantum information science, high-intensity lasers, and fusion energy R&D.
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With bated breath, the global crypto community is awaiting the final outcome of the US federal government’s latest policy meeting regarding digital assets. It is being assumed that the administration under Joe Biden may draft an executive order regarding cryptocurrencies with multiple federal agencies assessing the possible risks and impact.
The news of a possible upcoming crypto bill appeared a day after the United States Federal Reserve Board(FRB) presented a paper highlighting the possible merits and demerits of implementing a Central Bank Digital Currency seeking public opinion till May 30, 2022.
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The process can, in theory, go completely unnoticed by consumers, who now aren’t required to be informed about a potential stopgap in funds allocation.
This directly endangers the already diminishing crypto arena on a global scale. With the Department having almost full reign over potential digital transitions made between financial intermediaries, foreign or domestic, regulation will only deter newcomers and sour enthusiasts who could see a random pause in any number of transactions made.
While the bill is set to redefine our approach to China and money laundering in general, it lowers our dependability in the cryptocurrency space.
If left unchecked, this could damage future transactions, and the overall cryptocurrency market as regulation pushes into this supposed decentralized space.
Also Read:Government Of USA Passed A Bipartisan Bill To Modify A Provision In Infrastructure Law Dealing With Crypto Tax
US’s Political Perspective on Crypto
The federal government agencies have been routinely analyzing cryptocurrencies and their possible impact, designing policies as counteractive measures. The analysis, over the course of several years, was done independently in a fragmented fashion.
There was no confirmatory response from their end, adding to the woes of the growing crypto industry.
Regulatory government bodies like the OCC, SEC and CFTC did issue/release multiple letters of guidance for investors, informal statements.
Countries with robust economies are rushing towards CBDC development to get an edge over other nationals and exclusive power centralization,
America COMPETES Act 2022
The bill recently released to the members of the House contains a provision seen as disturbing to members of the global crypto community. Proposed by Rep. Jim Himes, the America COMPETES Act would empower the US Secretary of Treasury with enormous and unhinged power.
Once enacted, the Secretary can forbid exchanges or financial institutions from conducting crypto transactions.
An acronym for Creating Opportunities for Manufacturing, Pre-Eminence in Technology and Economic Strength, the America COMPETES Act of 2022 may create startup opportunities, but granting authority to bypass due crypto-transactional checks and balances would spell disastrous for cryptocurrencies.
CFIUS) to block universities from accepting certain foreign gifts and contracts if they are deemed a threat to national security. The COMPETES Act does not contain such a provision, but would establish a mechanism analogous to CFIUS for blocking U.S.
companies and other entities from making investments abroad in certain critical sectors. Both ideas have facedpushback, with critics arguing they would be difficult to implement and would unduly inhibit beneficial activities.
Immigration. The COMPETES Act’s proposal to provide STEM doctoral graduates with a fast track to receiving employment visas — colloquially referred to as “stapling a green card” to STEM diplomas — is an idea that has long circulated among science and innovation advocates. The COMPETES Act would also create an entirely new visa category for immigrant entrepreneurs.