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Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg to testify in Congress on the cryptocurrency Libra

Facebook (FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg is set to testify before the House Financial Services Committee on Oct. 23, according to the committee and the company.

The hearing, entitled “An Examination of Facebook and Its Impact on the Financial Services and Housing Sectors” will be largely focused on Libra, the company’s proposed blockchain digital currency.

Democratic lawmakers on the House Financial Services Committee have been especially critical of Facebook’s Libra project — even urging the social network to shut it down until regulators have a grasp on how to handle it.

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg enters the office of U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) while meeting with lawmakers to discuss "future internet regulation on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 19, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts


Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) has been pushing for Zuckerberg to testify about its Libra project. Earlier this year, Facebook’s head of Calibra, David Marcus, testified about Libra, but Waters told Yahoo Finance she still had questions for Zuckerberg.

At the October hearing, lawmakers will likely discuss the “Keep Big Tech Out of Finance Act,” — a draft bill that would prohibit big tech companies like Facebook from becoming financial institutions or operating digital assets.

Zuckerberg is the only witness set to testify at the hearing.

“Mark looks forward to testifying before the House Financial Services Committee and responding to lawmakers’ questions,” said a Facebook spokesperson in a statement to Yahoo Finance.

The hearing comes at a time when Facebook is under intense scrutiny in Washington.

On Tuesday, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) wrote letters to the CEOs of MasterCard, Visa and Stripe, warning them of the risks of associating with Facebook — and urging them to think twice about their involvement in the Libra Association.

A Senate Banking Committee spokesperson told Yahoo Finance there are no plans for Zuckerberg to testify before the Senate committee at this time.

The last time Zuckerberg testified on Capitol Hill was in 2018, when he faced questions about the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Zuckerberg was in Washington last month to meet with lawmakers behind closed doors. According to Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), Democratic senators had a wide-ranging conversation at dinner with Zuckerberg — covering issues including data privacy, transparency, election security and Libra.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) told reporters he challenged Zuckerberg to sell WhatsApp and Instagram in a private meeting.

While the upcoming hearing will be centered around Libra and housing, lawmakers could take the opportunity to grill Zuckerberg on a range of topics.

Jessica Smith is a reporter for Yahoo Finance based in Washington, D.C. Follow her on Twitter at @JessicaASmith8.

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