Rep. Patrick McHenry, a North Carolina Republican, and a notable supporter of the cryptocurrency industry, has declared his retirement, concluding his current term in January 2025. As the House Financial Services Committee Chair,
McHenry has played a key role in advancing crypto legislation, notably focusing on federal regulation of stablecoins and addressing crypto’s market structure comprehensively.
He entered Congress in 2005 and became acting speaker during the Republicans’ leadership turmoil earlier this year. Serving as chief deputy whip under Steve Scalise in 2014, McHenry later chaired the Financial Services Committee, becoming its youngest chair in over a century.
In his statement on Tuesday, McHenry expressed the gravity of his decision, stating,
“This is not a decision I come to lightly, but I believe there is a season for everything, and — for me — this season has come to an end.”
The announcement raises questions about the future of crypto advocacy in Congress and the potential impact on pending legislation.
During the summer, McHenry led initiatives to propel crypto-related bills through his committee, showcasing a commitment to fostering innovation in the financial services sector. Notably, the proposed bills face the challenge of garnering support from the Senate, a task that may prove daunting in the upcoming year.
The crypto industry has expressed regret at McHenry’s retirement. Cody Carbone, VP of Policy for the Chamber of Digital Commerce, lamented it as a “sad day for the digital asset industry,” praising McHenry’s championing of innovation within the sector. Sheila Warren, CEO of the Crypto Council for Innovation, hailed McHenry as an “unparalleled leader” and acknowledged his bipartisan and constructive engagement with the industry.
With McHenry stepping down, attention turns to potential successors. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, known for his recent vocal stance on crypto issues, is in contention for the House Financial Services Committee chair. Luetkemeyer has highlighted the importance of promoting innovative crypto companies while excluding those involved in nefarious activities.
Reps. Bill Huizenga and French Hill are also expected to express interest in the chair position, according to Politico. The outcome will likely shape the future trajectory of crypto legislation and advocacy within the U.S. Congress.
Reflecting on Career
In a statement, McHenry acknowledged the weight of his decision, stating, “This is not a decision I come to lightly.” He highlighted the cyclical nature of political seasons, suggesting that his current season has reached its conclusion.
McHenry’s departure sparks reflections on his legislative legacy and prompts speculation about potential successors. With his retirement from Congress, the dynamics within the Financial Services Committee and the broader political landscape are set to undergo significant shifts.
The impact of McHenry’s absence on crypto-related matters remains to be seen, leaving stakeholders curious about the trajectory of pending legislation and the continuity of advocacy efforts.