Treasury Agrees to Cleaver's Call For Federal Investigation Into Libra

Oct 22, 2019
Press Release

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, United States Representative Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO) received a letter from the Department of Treasury, agreeing to an affirmative investigation into Facebook’s planned cryptocurrency (Libra) and digital wallet (Calibra). In August, Congressman Cleaver sent a letter to Facebook, Calibra, the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), and the Office of Financial Research (OFR), urging the financial regulators to proactively examine Libra and Calibra for possible systemic risk. In September, Facebook agreed to delay the launch of Libra until all U.S. regulatory concerns had been addressed.

In the letter, the Department of Treasury states:

“It is unclear whether U.S. and foreign regulators will have the ability to monitor the Libra market and require corrective action, if necessary. This concern must be addressed if the Libra is to launch.”

“With the vast influence and reach of a company such as Facebook, it is absolutely critical that any effort to launch a cryptocurrency be met with the most stringent of examinations to ensure such an endeavor does not pose a systemic risk to the global economy,” said Congressman Cleaver. “I appreciate Facebook’s willingness to work with federal regulators as the company seeks to launch Libra, which has the potential to update—or upend—our financial system. As Facebook works down this regulatory road, it is imperative that we affirm that terror financing and money laundering is not advanced through Libra, and, according to FSOC, significant concerns remain.”

As chairman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Monetary Policy, Congressman Cleaver has taken an active role in calling for the regulation of Facebook’s proposed cryptocurrency. Just this morning, Congressman Cleaver questioned Treasury Secretary Mnuchin on the department’s developments related to the Libra project, receiving a commitment from Mnuchin that financial regulators will keep Congress updated on the issue. In addition to calling for an investigation into Libra and receiving a commitment from Facebook to delay the launch of Libra until they “have addressed all U.S. regulatory concerns,” Congressman Cleaver will meet with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg this afternoon to continue dialogue between the company and Congress.

You can find Treasury’s full letter to Congressman Cleaver here.

Emanuel Cleaver, II is the U.S. Representative for Missouri's Fifth Congressional District, which includes Kansas City, Independence, Lee's Summit, Raytown, Grandview, Sugar Creek, Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Oak Grove, North Kansas City, Gladstone, Claycomo, and all of Ray, Lafayette, and Saline Counties. He is a member of the exclusive House Financial Services Committee; Chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Security, International Development, and Monetary Policy; member of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress; member of the Committee on Homeland Security; and a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus. For more information, please contact Matthew Helfant at 202-225-4535 or Matthew.Helfant@mail.house.gov A high-resolution photo of Congressman Cleaver is available here.