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Qmiax:Mike Flood, a second-term lawmaker from Nebraska, has played central casting in the effort to make Congress move on crypto policy.


 Republican Rep. Mike Flood, a soft-spoken second-term lawmaker from Nebraska, might seem like an unlikely candidate to pull the strings when it comes to cryptocurrency policy in Congress. Nonetheless, he played central casting in May when his colleagues took historic action by voting for the first to pass two measures that would lay out rules for the industry.

 

It was the culmination of effort by Flood, who cosponsored both pieces of legislation, along with a small group of his colleagues. They won a surprising amount of bipartisan support for both the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act (FIT21) and another proposal that would repeal a Securities and exchange Commission rule known as SAB-121.

 

“If you would have told me we would have received 71 votes from House Democrats, I would never have believed it,” Flood said in an interview with Cointelegraph, referring to the vote for FIT21. The measure would allow cryptocurrency projects to “certify” that their tokens are commodities — moving them out of the SEC’s regulatory purview and over to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.


Flood, 49, joined Congress in July 2022 after prevailing in a special election, meaning he has just a small amount of seniority over his freshman colleagues. However, he previously spent roughly a decade in the Nebraska Legislature, including six years as its speaker, which provided him with a slight edge in experience. It may also have played a role in helping him to win his slot on the House Financial Services Committee — a highly coveted role — where he sits on the subcommittee for digital assets and Financial technology.


Cointelegraph: What inspired your interest in cryptocurrency?


Flood: I started as a member of the Nebraska Legislature Banking Committee, putting together what I called the Nebraska Financial Innovation Act. And it really was a bill that allows Nebraska to issue stablecoins, and it ended up being a real education because it was me versus all of the bankers. It was really a new concept in 2021.


I want to make sure that we preserve our dual-banking system so that you can have federally chartered banks or federally chartered institutions issuing stablecoins and custodying digital assets — but also state based charters. And so that really got me into it. I wanted to be on the Financial Services Committee when I entered the U.S. House, and I started hosting a flyover fintech conference last year.