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U.S. House Majority Whip Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) speaks during a press conference after a Republican caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol Building on September 13, 2023 in Washington, DC. Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) — U.S. Republican Rep. Tom Emmer on Tuesday reintroduced a measure that would ban the Federal Reserve from issuing Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) over privacy concerns. 

Rep. Tom Emmer represents Minnesota’s sixth district and is the majority whip for the U.S. House of Representatives. He voted last year in favor of Democrats’ “Respect for Marriage Act” to codify same-sex “marriage.”

On Monday, he and 50 cosponsors reintroduced the CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act to uphold American “values of privacy, individual sovereignty, and free-market competitiveness” by halting “the efforts of unelected bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. from issuing a [CBDC] that dismantles Americans’ right to financial privacy,” according to a press release from Emmer’s office.

The bill, originally introduced in February, is meant to prevent “the Federal Reserve from issuing a CBDC directly to individuals, ensuring the Fed cannot mobilize itself into a retail bank able to collect personal financial data on Americans,” the press release states.

The measure would also forbid “the Fed from indirectly issuing a CBDC to individuals through an intermediary, preventing the Fed from launching a retail CBDC through our two-tier financial system.” Moreover, it would ban the use of “any CBDC to implement monetary policy, ensuring the Federal Reserve cannot use a CBDC as a tool to control the American economy.”

READ: Banks canceling coin dealers without explanation, highlighting concerns about digital dollar

Communist China, whose human rights abuses and extreme surveillance network to assert control over its citizens are widely known, has been developing its own CBDC since 2014. 

The Chinese digital yuan, issued by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), is definitionally “subject to government control” and “as traceable as [the CCP] design[s] it to be,” with privacy protections that are both “conditional and ambiguous” enough to spark worries about its use as “just another lever for control and repression,” according to the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI).

And while countries other than China have also begun exploring a move to centralized digital currency in recent years, some – including Denmark, Finland, and Japan – have already scrapped the idea after launching pilot programs.

Regardless, the Biden administration is currently exploring the possibility of pursuing an American CBDC, leading Rep. Emmer to accuse the U.S. government of being “willing to compromise the American people’s right to financial privacy for a surveillance-style CBDC.” 

He argued that, without proper safeguards, “a government-issued CBDC is nothing more than a CCP-style surveillance tool that would be used to undermine the American way of life.”

READ: House member urges Congress to ‘criminalize’ CBDCs: ‘Tool for coercion and control’

Emmer’s office has described CBDC as “a digital form of sovereign currency that is designed and issued by a government and transacts on a digital ledger that is controlled by that government.”

Distinct from “decentralized cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin,” the centralized top-down control of CBDC “could give the federal government the ability to surveil Americans’ transactions and choke out politically unpopular activity,” Emmer’s office warned.

While discussion about CBDCs has largely taken a backseat to other contemporary political debates, Republican candidates in the 2024 presidential contest Ron DeSantis and Vivek Ramaswamy have blasted CBDCs as linked to a “surveillance state” and a “social credit system.”

DeSantis, who is currently serving his second term as Republican governor of Florida, signed legislation in May to ban “the use of a federally adopted central bank digital currency (CBDC) by excluding it from the definition of money within Florida’s Uniform Commercial Code” and “foreign-issued CBDC to protect consumers against globalist efforts to adopt a worldwide digital currency.”

The Florida governor has promised to ban CBDCs “on day one” if elected president. 

Former President Donald Trump has not yet expressed a position on the matter.