Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., declared his retirement on Thursday, thereby creating space for a chairmanship of the House Financial Services Committee favorable to cryptocurrencies after Chair Patrick McHenry steps down at the start of 2025.
Under McHenry’s leadership, the House Financial Services Committee has advanced proposals that seek to regulate stablecoins and address the entire structure of the cryptocurrency sector. A member of the committee, Luetkemeyer had declared he would seek McHenry’s leadership.
Due to Luetkemeyer’s departure at the end of 2024, Rep. French Hill of Arkansas may assume the role of chairman. Leading that committee’s section devoted to digital assets, Hill has worked on cryptocurrency laws pertaining to stablecoins, among other things.
According to Ron Hammond, director of government affairs at the Blockchain Association, Hill has a great history of cooperating with lawmakers on opposing sides of the aisle.
“If Hill were to be chair, crypto likely would remain a top tier issue within the committee — similar to how McHenry has prioritized crypto under his chairmanship,” Hammond stated.
Although Luetkemeyer wasn’t against cryptocurrency, Hammond noted that he wouldn’t have given it as much of a priority as Hill or McHenry had he been chair.
As a leading candidate for the position of House Financial Services chair, Hill is regarded. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Ky., and Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., may trail Hill if Republicans hold over the House of Representatives after this year’s election season, according to Hammond.
The Senate Banking Committee would still need to hear crypto legislation, which would be difficult.
“Most people, even in the lobbying circles, were unaware that this would be taking place,” Hammond remarked on Luetkemeyer’s retirement.
In a statement released on Thursday, Luetkemeyer stated that he had spoken with his family and had made the decision not to run for reelection.
“Over the next few weeks, as I finish up my last term, I look forward to continuing to work with all my constituents on their myriad of issues as well as work on the many difficult and serious problems confronting our great country,” he said. “There is still a lot to do.”