On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate voted 69-30 to approve the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill that includes what many call an “unworkable” crypto reporting requirement provision. As a result of concerns about the provision, amendments were put forward for rectification, however the amendment did not pass the Senate on Monday. While it needed a unanimous consent agreement, it was Alabama Senator Richard Shelby who objected after he had previously not received support for his own amendment. Politics at its “best” as NBC’s Jake Sherman reported on Shelby’s motivation for his objection:
Attention crypto world: @SenShelby just told us he’s actually for the amendment he blocked yesterday, but blocked it simply because he didn’t want them to get an amendment unless he got his defense amendment.
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) August 10, 2021
Texas Senator Ted Cruz expressed his concern immediately on Twitter and spoke of possible drastic consequences for the crypto industry in the United States:
This infrastructure bill has in it a portion that is designed to obliterate #crypto.
That would be a tragic mistake. pic.twitter.com/ySxoj1yMwV
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) August 10, 2021
By what definition?
The major problem in the unamended bill is the definition of a “broker” who must file reports with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Although they never take any control of a consumer’s assets, according to its current definition, a broker could also include software developers, transaction validators, and node operators who do not collect the information the IRS requires. Senator Mike Lee among many expressed their concerns of this provision on the U.S. competitive position in the world in the emerging sector and had said on Saturday:
“It’s going to have a chilling effect on innovation within this sector … Places outside the United States may well be the ones to reap the benefit associated with the laws here in the United States if we adopt an unproven, untested, unknown strategy. What you’ll see is the flight of innovation, and investments related to innovation, to offshore locations around the globe.”
The Infrastructure Bill has now moved to the House of Representatives and will be handled once the Congress returns from recess by the end of September
Despite the setback, the fight is not over as crypto supporting representatives are not giving up. Shortly after the crypto amendment failed to pass in the Senate, four congressmen started efforts to mitigate threats the bill imposes.
I, along with bipartisan Blockchain Caucus co-chairs @RepDarrenSoto, @RepDavid, and @RepBillFoster sent a letter to every single Representative in the House raising concerns about the Senate infrastructure bill being paid for by our crypto industry. pic.twitter.com/MzsEmBbosr
— Tom Emmer (@RepTomEmmer) August 9, 2021
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