March 7, 2019

Cassidy, Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Combat Financial Crime

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Jerry Moran (R-KA) introduced the FinCEN Improvement Act, bipartisan legislation to combat money laundering and terrorism through financial intelligence. The bill bolsters national security by expanding the capacity of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to work with tribal law enforcement agencies, protect against domestic terrorism and focus on virtual currencies.  

“As terrorists and criminals use new technologies to commit illicit acts, we must stay on offense,” said Senator Cassidy. “This legislation gives the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s new tools to protect Americans against national security threats in the digital age.”

“Since my time as Attorney General, I’ve worked to strengthen our nation’s ability to respond to emerging threats to our national security and financial systems,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “We must use every tool at our disposal to address financial crime as new currencies and forms of terrorism emerge. I’m proud to introduce a bill that empowers FinCEN to reach its full potential in safeguarding the integrity of our financial systems.”

“As part of our national defense, we must cut off the money that fuels terrorism and transnational crime,” said Senator Sinema. “Our bipartisan bill improves coordination with Arizona’s tribal law enforcement, combats homegrown terrorism, and disrupts crime financed through virtual currencies.”

The companion bill of the FinCEN Improvement Act of 2019 was introduced in the House of Representatives by Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.) and Congressman Denver Riggleman (R-Va.).

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is a bureau of the U.S. Department of Treasury that protects the financial system from illicit use and money laundering while promoting national security. Congress has not updated FinCEN’s statutes in years, thus limiting the bureau’s current ability to work with tribal law enforcement, address domestic terrorism and address new forms of banking like virtual currencies.

The FinCEN Improvement Act adds statutory authorities that enable FinCEN to address gaps in its current capacity, including:

  • Giving FinCen the ability to protect against domestic terrorism in addition to its international terrorism prevention role.
  • Authorizing FinCen to work with tribal law enforcement and coordinate efforts and share data.
  • Allowing FinCEN to monitor emerging technology, such as cryptocurrency.

This legislation is the latest part of Cassidy’s effort to target money laundering.