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Dozens of House Democrats join most Republicans in passing sweeping crypto bill

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The cryptocurrency industry capped a notable month on Capitol Hill, as 71 House Democrats joined most Republicans to pass sweeping legislation aimed at establishing rules of the road for the fast-moving industry.

Backers of the legislation, which passed 279-136, included prominent senior Democrats like former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Minority Whip Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Ted Lieu (D-Calf.) and DCCC Chair Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.).

The White House opposed the measure, which critics say could put consumers and even the larger financial system at risk, but did not threaten to veto it

In a statement explaining her vote, Pelosi said that while the bill “must be improved by working with the Senate and the Administration,” the industry “needs clearer rules of the road and the federal government needs stronger enforcement authority.”

It’s a powerful show of force for the crypto industry among Capitol Hill backers from both parties in a time of fierce divisions.

“Having a robust regulatory climate that protects investors and protects people is something we think through, even when there are different ideas on how we get there,” said Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.), chair of the House Democratic Caucus, who said leadership did not whip the vote and supported it.

A number of prominent Democrats did oppose the bill, including Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Financial Services Committee ranking member Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), Judiciary Committee ranking member Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Ways and Means Committee ranking member Richard Neal (D-Mass.).

Just three Republicans opposed the measure — Reps. Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Nick LaLota (N.Y.) and Matt Rosendale (Mont.).

Movement on the sweeping bill comes just days after 11 Senate Democrats, including Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, joined with Republicans to ax SEC guidance on cryptocurrency accounting, shortly after the House passed the same measure (though Biden plans to veto it).

Nicholas Wu contributed to this report.