Infrastructure Bill Delayed By Cryptocurrency Regulation Debate
As the bipartisan infrastructure bill awaits the final vote in the Senate as soon a Tuesday, the senators have found an unexpected hurdle: cryptocurrency.
The original language in the bill would require brokers of digital assets to report on crypto transactions to the IRS.
“As we know, cryptocurrency is a digital asset that more and more people are investing in. We should want that to continue, and continue in a healthy and sustainable way,” said Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who’s one of a group of bipartisan senators who added the original proposal to the bill.
Both the cryptocurrency industry and a group of other senators from both parties disagree with this language, claiming that the word “broker” is too vague and broad. Instead, they are now asking for an amendment that would narrow the scope of the term “brokers.”
According to the bill, the cryptocurrency broker is anyone who is “responsible for and regularly providing any service effectuating transfers of digital assets on behalf of another person.” The problem with this definition is that it can also be referring to the cryptocurrency “miners” who don’t have customers and thus can’t file a tax form.
The two groups, both bipartisan, are now debating to reach an agreement.
Other than cryptocurrency measures, the Senate is also debating on whether the bill should use unspent COVID-19 aid money to pay for the infrastructure plan.
On Saturday, the Senate voted to advance the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill on Sunday, clearing one of the last steps to finalize the bill.
The vote was 68-29, which easily surpassed the 60-vote hurdle needed to move forward.
Next, the Senate is also likely to advance the process of voting on a budget reconciliation resolution, a second bill that could allow Democrats to pass up to $3.5 trillion in additional spending without the Republican votes that will focus on climate change, education, healthcare and childcare and eldercare.