On Tuesday morning the Senate passed the $1.2 trillion dollar Infrastructure Bill, known as HR 3486. The document includes a much scrutinized provision that could require everyone from central bitcoin exchanges, crypto transaction validators (miners), and software developers to provide 1099s to investors.
There were efforts over the past few days by Senators Pat Toomey (R-PA), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), and Ron Wyden (D-OE) to address the vague nature of the crypto clause and exempt parties such as miners and developers that do not have the means to comply with the legislation. Their revised text ended up receiving bipartisan support, most notably from Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) as well as buy-in from the White House and the Treasury Department.
However, because the compromise was agreed to yesterday morning, the only option for getting it included in the final version of the bill before it was voted on was through a process known as Unanimous Consent, which requires zero objections. The motion ultimately failed after Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) objected so that he could propose a separate $50 billion defense amendment be included in the bill. Toomey acceded to his request, but that was ultimately objected to by Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT).
Crypto lobbying groups have espoused disappointment after the amendment failed to be included in the bill. Many also expressed surprise and anger that the motion failed for reasons completely unrelated to crypto.
“By failing to reach unanimous consent on the Toomey-Warner-Lummis-Sinema-Portman compromise, the U.S. Senate jeopardizes American leadership in financial and technological innovation. As written, the infrastructure bill contains harmful IRS reporting requirements that many in the crypto ecosystem lack the capabilities to comply with. As a result, many crypto players will be forced to move overseas, leaving future jobs and economic growth on the table.” said Kristen Smith, Executive Director of the Blockchain Association, a D.C.-based crypto lobbying group.
Now, attention will turn to the House of Representatives, which will need to pass its own version of the bill before being reconciled with the senate version before being sent to President Biden for signature into law.
Implementation of the law is expected to begin in 2023