Two of the House’s Favorite Myths: Voter Fraud and Crypto

Jonathan Cohn
2 min readMay 25, 2024

This week, the US House of Representatives continued to peddle two of their favorite myths: voter fraud and cryptocurrency.

On Thursday, the House voted 262 to 143 to prohibit DC from allowing legal non-citizens from voting in local elections.

In DC, “no taxation without representation” is widely used to advocate for DC statehood, and it’s a travesty that Democrats in Congress never gave DC statehood when they had a trifecta. But that’s not the only taxation without representation that has existed in the District, given that non-citizens — foreign students, Green card holders, etc. — have not historically been able to vote either even though they pay taxes. The DC City Council decided to change that back in 2022 and extend the franchise, in what is called “all-resident voting.” It was a win for democracy.

But rather than celebrate the expansion of democracy, the US House prefers to fear-monger about voter fraud, and this vote was nothing other than that. It was thus shameful that 52 Democrats joined House Republicans in voting for it.

And the day prior, the House voted 279 to 136 for a bill to allow the cryptocurrency industry to get its regulator of choice.

The bill would move cryptocurrency regulation from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). SEC Chair Gary Gensler slammed the bill:

“The crypto industry’s record of failures, frauds, and bankruptcies is not because we don’t have rules or because the rules are unclear,” the SEC chair said ahead of the House vote. “It’s because many players in the crypto industry don’t play by the rules.”

“We should make the policy choice to protect the investing public over facilitating business models of noncompliant firms,” he added.

David Dayen has a good write-up of the fight over crypto in The American Prospect. As he explains, “The bill delivers what the industry has sought for some time: a regulatory regime mostly dominated by the CFTC, which has been far more accommodating of the industry.”

Despite opposition from President Biden, the SEC chair, financial reform advocates, and Ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee Maxine Waters, 71 Democrats joined Republicans in voting for the bill:

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Jonathan Cohn

Editor. Bibliophile. Gadfly. Environmentalist. Super-volunteer for progressive campaigns. Boston by way of Baltimore, London, NYC, DC, and Philly.