House's McHenry Won't Seek Reelection, Costing Crypto a Top Ally: Politico

Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), arguably the crypto industry's most important advocate in the U.S. Congress, has decided not to seek another term, sources told Politico on Tuesday.

As McHenry, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, continues to shepherd two significant pieces of digital assets legislation toward floor votes in the House of Representatives, his decision could set a clock on getting that task accomplished. Rep. French Hill (R-Ark.), the chair of that panel's crypto-focused subcommittee, has already indicated that progress on the bills – one to regulate U.S. stablecoin issuers and one to establish rules for the wider crypto markets – will shift into the first months of next year.

McHenry has been a central GOP negotiator for the stablecoin bill, which had nearly reached the finish line in talks with Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), the committee's ranking Democrat. Waters has indicated she's still willing to finish the work, and that legislation is widely seen as the most likely to win approval and potentially find success in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

The influential North Carolina lawmaker, famous for his bowties and known for a willingness to make pragmatic deals across the aisle, is poised to make his announcement as soon as today, Politico reported. That would mark another twist in a political career that in recent weeks saw him suddenly ascend to the role as the House's acting speaker after his colleagues fired Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). But when a lawmaker announces he's leaving Congress, it can sometimes diminish his or her authority in negotiations.

The industry still has a number of supporters among House Republicans, including Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) and Hill. But it also has powerful critics on the Senate side, such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.

Read More: Patrick McHenry Is Dragging Crypto Bills Through Congress