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Emmer: SEC using enforcement to ‘unconstitutionally expand its jurisdiction’

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Senator Tom Emmer is in the news today after he claimed that the U.S SEC is still actively pursuing cryptocurrency entities. In doing so, it has gone beyond its authority, he added.

A Republican, Emmer questioned the public’s confidence in the American financial system. The SEC, he continued, has placed the blame for this decline in trust on “industry participants and companies.”

He charged the organization with utilizing enforcement to enlarge its purview at the expense of public resources and confidence, particularly in the digital asset sector. Interestingly, this is not the first time that Emmer has questioned SEC on its actions in the crypto-space.

To clarify the SEC’s information-gathering procedure, Tom Emmer also wrote a letter to SEC Chair Gary Gensler.

Questions on SEC’s ‘industry sweeps’

Gurbir Grewal, the Director of SEC enforcement, was questioned by Senator Emmer over “industry sweeps” after getting proof that they take place. Grewal refused to provide information when questioned about recent industry sweeps, however, citing SEC regulations.

Curiously, he did acknowledge making “extrajudicial requests” of businesses that are not SEC-regulated.

Senator Emmer went on to claim that Gensler had directed the enforcement division to send “sweep letters” to “jam them into a violation that is presumably prohibited.”

While asking the SEC to dissolve the division in charge of creating Bitcoin regulations, Emmer concluded,

“The SEC is hellbent on expanding the size of its crypto enforcement division using enforcement to unconstitutionally expand its jurisdiction. Under Chair Gensler, the SEC has become a power-hungry regulator, politicizing enforcement, baiting companies to “come in and talk” to the Commission, then hitting them with enforcement actions, discouraging good-faith cooperation.”

Lummis-Gillibrand bill fate still undecided

On the contrary, the aggressive Lummis-Gillibrand bill is not expected to be voted on this year. On 19 July, Senator Lummis told Bloomberg that the legislation’s broad reach would make it challenging for lawmakers to absorb quickly. As a result, it is doubtful the Senate would vote on it before the end of 2022.

The bill has received repeated criticism from Gary Gensler, who claims it poses a threat to the $100 trillion traditional finance sector. To regulate digital assets like securities and stocks, he wants the SEC to have exclusive jurisdiction over them.

A bill that Tom Emmer previously prepared could grant the U.S. SEC some limited authority over specific stablecoins. The SEC would have jurisdiction over stablecoins that distribute dividends under a new draft law from Emmer.


Jibin Mathew George is Editor-in-Chief at AMBCrypto. A domain expert in International Relations (European Politics), he has always been a believer in the unlimited possibilities afforded by blockchain and by extension, cryptocurrencies. As someone who has been watching and writing about this space for over 5 years now, Jibin has closely tracked the emergence of cryptos and digital assets as a separate asset class in portfolios world over. A lawyer by training, he previously contributed to the News and Research desk of Diplomacy & Beyond Plus. Before his stint at D&B, he was Editor at ED Times. Jibin also takes a great interest in politics, especially the corresponding effect political decisions and fiscal policy have on the world of finance, with a special focus on cryptocurrencies.
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