House bill would require Fincen to work with tribal agencies

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WASHINGTON — The House unanimously passed a bill Tuesday requiring the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network to work with tribal law enforcement agencies and codifying Fincen's role in fighting against domestic terrorism.

The bill, named the Fincen Improvement Act, would also require the agency to work with foreign intelligence units on initiatives relating to emerging financial technologies, such as cryptocurrency.

The bill was sponsored by Reps. Jennifer Wexton, D-Va., and Denver Riggleman, R-Va., both new members of the House Financial Services Committee. It was supported by Chairwoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and passed by a voice vote.

Fincen voluntarily works with tribal law enforcement on anti-money-laundering and counterterrorism initiatives, but is not currently required to do so by statute. The bill would make Fincen’s assistance to tribal law enforcement mandatory.

The legislation would also expand Fincen’s anti-terrorism mandate to protect not only against international terrorism, but also "homegrown" terrorist threats.

“While the United States faces a serious threat from foreign terrorist organizations, the threat from both ‘homegrown violent extremists’ and domestic terrorists has sharply increased within the past several years,” Waters said Tuesday on the House floor. “Although this type of terrorism has been less discussed in the news cycle, these terrorists are equally as dangerous as international terrorist organizations, if not more.”

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