Final Voting Today; Compromised Crypto Amendment in Infrastructure Bill Rejected by A Single Senator

There is still time for Senator Richard Shelby to change his stance before the final voting on Tuesday, and if the original bill ultimately passes, it still has to clear the House, which can make changes in the bill where a whole new amendment can be pushed.


Richard Shelby, a senator from Alabama, brought an end to the bipartisan compromise on a crypto tax provision in a $1 trillion infrastructure bill, part of which is expected to be funded by raising about $28 billion over the next decade through expanded crypto tax reporting requirements.

Shelby was the only one who filed an objection to the compromise supported by Democrats, Republicans, and the Treasury Department.

As the amendment did not receive unanimous consent, it will not make it into the bill, but as it moves to the House, “we can try to get a whole new amendment from scratch that can address all our concerns,” said Jerry Brito, executive director of CoinCenter.

On Monday, Senator Pat Toomey headed on the Senate floor to request unanimous consent on the adoption of the Toomey-Warner-Lummis-Sinema-Portman amendment to clarify IRS reporting rules for crypto transactions without imposing information reporting requirements on staker, miners, and other non-brokers or curbing innovation.

And while not perfect, the compromise is better than the underlying bill. It has exemptions for validators and hardware/software wallet makers. The compromised amendment also tightens the expanded definition of “broker” sufficiently that it would be difficult to argue it covers protocol developers who only write and publish code, said Brito.

Even Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen expressed her support for the amendment as she said in a statement, “I am grateful to Senators Warner, Portman, Sinema, Toomey and Lummis for working together on this amendment to provide clarity on important provisions in the bipartisan infrastructure deal that will make meaningful progress on tax evasion in the cryptocurrency market.”

However, the objection from just one senator is enough to fail the amendment, and that's exactly what happened.

However, this isn’t over yet.

Before the voting on Tuesday, if Senator Shelby reverses his stance, the crypto amendment can still go through.

“So technically it's not over… if Senator Shelby changes his mind between now and the final vote on the bill (likely tomorrow morning), they could try again. That being said, Shelby is known for being a pretty stubborn guy,” noted Kristin Smith, Executive Director at Blockchain Association.

“We should be encouraging competition here in America, not driving economic activity overseas,” said Kati Britt, Shelby's former chief-of-staff & endorsed successor as she came in support of crypto on Twitter.

Amidst this, crypto supporter Spencer Dinwiddie who has been brought over in a sign-and-trade with the Nets, is also all set to support crypto in the DC.

“I think I'll be the first point guard in D.C. history to possibly lobby senators about Bitcoin,” he said.

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