Change to controversial crypto provision in infrastructure bill blocked in Senate

August 9, 2021, 10:08 PM UTC

A change to cryptocurrency reporting rules in the infrastructure bill was blocked in the Senate Monday, leaving language for broad oversight of virtual currencies still in the legislation set to pass the Senate.

The amendment was designed to address concerns from the cryptocurrency industry that the original bill would require entities like, miners and software developers, to report tax data to the Internal Revenue Service that they didn’t have access to. The change was proposed after days of negotiations between three Republicans—Pat Toomey, Cynthia Lummis, Rob Portman—and two Democrats, Mark Warner and Kyrsten Sinema.

In a series of procedural maneuvers, Republican Senator Richard Shelby objected because the Democrats refused to take up his amendment for $50 billion in additional military construction money. In the final stages of considering the legislation, debate on amendments requires the consent of every senator.

The failure of the amendment represents a blow to the crypto industry, which had pushed hard for more narrowly targeted oversight in recent weeks. Portman said on Monday there are other ways to clarify the bill’s language, including Senate floor speeches to show the lawmakers intent and additional guidance from the Treasury Department.

The Senate is wrapping up debate on the $550 billion infrastructure bill and is likely to vote on final passage Tuesday, unless a deal is reached to approve the legislation sooner.

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