Bipartisan cryptocurrency reporting amendment blocked in Senate battle

One little-known provision of President Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill imposes new reporting requirements on the world of cryptocurrency, and it’s causing quite a stir.

According to The Hill, an amendment was put forward that was aimed at providing additional clarity regarding who would be subject to the new cryptocurrency rules. However, that effort was thwarted on Monday amidst a bout of chaotic legislative squabbling.

A bipartisan effort

Fox Business reported last week that Republican Sens. Pat Toomey (PA) and Cynthia Lummis (WY) worked alongside Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) to create an amendment to ease the burden that the new rules would create.

“Digital assets are here to stay,” Lummis said. “While much more work needs to be done, this amendment is a responsible step toward fully incorporating digital assets into the U.S. financial sector.”

“The digital asset and financial technology space is incredibly complicated, and we have spent long hours working in the Senate, with industry stakeholders, and with the Administration to find a way to effectively integrate digital assets into our tax code without harming the technology or stifling innovation,” she added.

What’s in the amendment?

Fox Business spoke with a Senate aide who explained that the amendment clarified that the “bill does not require digital asset miners, and the creators of software and hardware used to self-custody digital assets, to report to the IRS.”

What’s more, the amendment was also meant to make clear “that developers of digital asset code are not required to report as well.”

On Monday, Fox Business noted that U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen had embraced the amendment, saying that it would “provide clarity on important provisions in the bipartisan infrastructure deal.”

One request blocked it

As The Hill explained, the amendment was ultimately blocked later that day by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders after Alabama’s Richard Shelby (R) “tried to attach his untreated proposal to boost military spending by $50 billion.”

Delaware Sen. Tom Carper (D) then attempted to reintroduce the amendment only to see it blocked by Shelby when Carper objected to his call for more military spending. 

Toomey lashed out at Shelby, complaining, “Because there’s a difference of opinion on whether or not the senator from Alabama should get a vote on his amendment, because that is not agreed to, the body is refusing to take up an amendment that has broad bipartisan support, that we all know fixes something that badly needs to be fixed.”

“This isn’t like a whim of the senator from Pennsylvania,” Toomey said, adding, “There’s like nobody who disputes that there’s a problem here.”

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