An amendment designed to redefine who would be subject to new cryptocurrency regulation requirements under the Senate infrastructure bill failed in the chamber on Monday, Aug. 9, after a Republican senator sought to add more military spending to the bill, but a Democrat blocked it.
The bipartisan 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 did not have access to, according to Zerohedge.
The amendment was proposed after days of negotiations between three Republican senators—Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio)—and two Democratic senators—Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.). The Treasury Department supported the change.
But Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) tried to take up his amendment by proposing to boost military construction spending by $50 billion.
According to The Hill, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) blocked that proposal, which reported that Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) introduced the amendment again. Still, Shelby blocked it after Carper objected to tacking on Shelby’s amendment proposal.
Toomey expressed disgust that his co-sponsored amendment was stuck in the Senate.
“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,” Toomey said on the Senate floor. “There’s like nobody who disputes that there’s a problem here.”
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) also objected to Shelby’s request to add his defense amendment to the bill, leading Shelby to block Cruz’s amendment, which aimed to clarify the language regarding cryptocurrency requirements from the bill.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said that the compromise amendment did not offer enough privacy and security protection. He had put forward an alternative amendment with Toomey and Lummis, but it failed to get support from the Biden administration.