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Lawmakers were still concerned about libra after Zuckerberg testimony



Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before the House Financial Services Committee of the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill October 23, 2019 in Washington, DC.

Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Six hours after lawmakers began grilling Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on their cryptocurrency plans, House members from both sides of the aisle expressed dissatisfaction with the long testimony.

Zuckerberg questioned the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday, three months after Facebook's cryptocurrency chief David Marcus failed in his testimony to give politicians confidence that the company would wait for a regulatory structure before launching its Libra project.

The top Republican on the House Financial Services Committee did not see much progress by Zuckerberg.

"Frankly, I'm not sure we've learned anything new here," said ranking member Patrick McHenry, RN.C., while Facebook CEO wrapped up his testimony.

was shared by several members of the committee, who had asked Zuckerberg to testify about the company's plans with libra. Last week, Facebook announced the 21

founding members of the crypto project when the group met in Switzerland to sign on the charra Association, which will govern the libra cryptocurrency. In June, Facebook announced plans for Libra to change the way money moves around the world, saying they would be run by a nonprofit supported by a number of companies and organizations.

But Zuckerberg struggled to please the members of the House, who are concerned about regulation and the governance structure around the weight.

"We need to get together and we basically need to go through what happened here today and make some decisions about how we are going with the strategy," chairwoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif. , told reporters after the hearing.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Investors were not bothered, as Facebook shares rose more than 2% through Zuckerberg's testimony.

Prior to the hearing, there were indications that Zuckerberg would refrain from making firm commitments to the project. After the Libra Association's unveiling last week, Marcus told reporters that Zuckerberg would not be able to speak for the association himself.

In his prepared testimony, Zuckerberg made commitments only to Facebook's commitment to the Libra Association, saying that if the group wanted to launch the currency without the approval of US regulators, Facebook would "be forced to leave" it. Zuckerberg noted at least three separate times during the hearing that he could not speak for what he called the "independent" association, which includes Marcus as a board member.

"I'm not sure we learned too much more new, except now that they call the association an independent association," the rep said. Sylvia Garcia, D-Tex., In an interview after the hearing.

Garcia had been one of the lawmakers asking for Zuckerberg's testimony of libra. Although she was "disappointed" with her responses, Garcia said she still thinks Zuckerberg was the right person to call because "Facebook is Mark Zuckerberg and Mark Zuckerberg is Libra."

Garcia said she is skeptical of the idea that the units are separate.

"I don't think it's going to be that independent of Facebook having such control and it's their platform," she said.

Through the hearing, committee members urged Facebook to pause their plans while lawmakers come up with new rules for regulators, or just move the Libra Association from Switzerland to the United States

Waters said she can't support the plan at all.

"I asked for a moratorium on libra. And what he committed to is they will not launch it until there is a regulatory oversight agency responsible for it," Waters said after the hearing, adding that she is "not so sure "it's the same.

She said she does not understand what libra is trying to achieve and th at it has not been "adequately explained."

"Just saying that you organize Weight because you are concerned about the unbanked and it will have payment systems does not answer the questions for me," Waters said.

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SE: Must continue to work on our concerns about libra and Facebook: Rep. Waters [19659024]
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