Senate Crypto Amendment Falls One Short of Unanimous Vote, No Compromise on 'Broker' Language

A week of scrambling to get things right has fallen short. Crypto rallied together to be failed by lawmakers.

Kyle Heise
August 9, 2021
Blockchain News

Infrastructure Bill Pushes Through

The Senate crypto amendment to the bipartisan infrastructure bill was blocked Monday afternoon, effectively ending any chance of amending the original language. 

With the bill expected to pass on Tuesday morning, the last-ditch efforts to protect controversial cryptocurrency tax reporting must now focus on the House of Representatives. 

The defeat of the crypto amendment came after a morning of hope where the ever antagonistic Treasury Department and the White House confirmed approval to the Toomey-Warner- Lummis-Sinema-Portman compromise. In the end, politicking prevailed over common sense.

“We came together to provide greater clarity on who are the ‘brokers’ of cryptocurrencies,” Senator Toomey (R-PA) clarified in a press conference Monday, August 9. “We’re not proposing anything sweeping or anything radical – our solution makes clear that a broker means only those persons that conduct transactions where consumers buy, sell and trade digital assets.” 

The bill failed its unanimous vote because of Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL). The senator from Alabama attempted to add a rider to increase military spending that was rejected by Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT). 

Shelby then objected to the whole compromise, nuking the entire effort. It appears the hubris of one Senator has blocked any chance of fixing the Senate bill, but that still leaves room in the House.

Still Hope in the House

As we may know from civics classes, the bill is not a law if it only passes one chamber. Although Sen. Shelby has until Tuesday morning to change his mind, Sen. Majority Leader Schumer (D-NY) has indicated a strong desire to pass the bill post-haste and without any more delays

The Senate bill, once passed, must also face approval from the House of Representatives. Members of the House are already getting prepared. 

The bipartisan co-chairs (Congressmen Soto [D-FL], Schweikert [R-AR], Foster [D-IL], Emmer [R-MN]) of the Blockchain Caucus have already written a letter to all members of the lower chamber to highlight their concerns. 

“The House must consider amendments to this provision that exempt entities that don’t conduct crypto transactions and keep blockchain software development, cryptocurrency mining, and more in the United States,” tweeted Congressman Tom Emmer of Minnesota’s 6th District. “Crypto is not a partisan issue – the bipartisan Blockchain Caucus is working to educate Members so we can fix this dangerous provision when it comes to the House.”

The fight for the language over the term ‘broker’ has taken on a new home. The burden now lies in the House of Representatives to get this right.

Despite the setback, the markets across crypto are still very bullish. Bitcoin was up almost 6%, hitting as high as $46,217 on Monday afternoon.

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Kyle Heise

Born and raised in the East Bay of California. He has studied and worked on three continents and lived in eight countries. Kyle resides in San Francisco. He holds bags mostly in Ethererum, Cake, and BSC GameFi projects.

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