Press Releases

House Passes Congresswoman Wexton’s Bipartisan FinCEN Improvement Act

Congresswoman Wexton’s legislation would better empower the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network to combat emerging methods of terrorism and illicit financing, like cryptocurrency.

Today, H.R. 1414, the bipartisan FinCEN Improvement Act, introduced by Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) passed unanimously in the U.S. House of Representatives by voice vote. The legislation would help modernize the mission of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). 

“This bipartisan piece of legislation is an important step in modernizing FinCEN to ensure that the agency is protecting against all types of terrorism. It’s a practical bill that emphasizes FinCEN’s role in combating emerging methods of illicit financing activity, like cryptocurrencies, and strengthens cooperation with Tribal law enforcement,” said Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton. “I want to thank Congressman Riggleman for partnering with me to pass this important legislation.”

The lead cosponsor of this legislation was Congressman Denver Riggleman (R-VA).

FinCEN’s statutory authorities are authorized by the Currency and Financial Transactions Reporting Act of 1970 (as amended by the USA Patriot Act of 2001) and the Bank Secrecy Act. As a result, FinCEN’s statutes have not been updated by Congress in years, and they operate on guidance issued from the agency.

The FinCEN Improvement Act would update the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network authorizing statute to recognize tribal law enforcement agencies, prioritize protection against all types of terrorism, and ensure a focus on emerging methods of terrorism and illicit finance, including cryptocurrencies.

The full text of the legislation can be found here.

FinCEN Background

FinCEN is a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The Director of FinCEN is appointed by the Secretary of the Treasury and reports to the Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. FinCEN’s mission is to safeguard the financial system from illicit use, combat money laundering and promote national security through the collection, analysis, and dissemination of financial intelligence and strategic use of financial authorities.