Senate Fails to Adopt Compromise Cryptocurrency Amendment

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Posted by Katie McAuliffe, Bryan Bashur on Monday, August 9th, 2021, 5:39 PM PERMALINK

Americans for Tax Reform was disappointed to see the Senate fail to adopt the compromise cryptocurrency amendment (No. 2656) filed by Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) that would have significantly improved the tax reporting requirement provisions in the bipartisan infrastructure bill. 

Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform, stated:

Cryptocurrencies should never have been put up as a pay-for in the infrastructure package. It was creative accounting in the part of the White House to try and pay for part of their spending spree. Now an entire industry which should be thriving in America is threatened by IRS agents and requirements to access private information.

It is very concerning that senators could not agree to common sense language on cryptocurrencies. It’s clear legislation, especially on emergent technologies, should go though regular order rather than being hidden in a massive package.

This afternoon, Sen. Toomey asked for unanimous consent to include the amendment in the infrastructure package. This afternoon, Sen. Toomey asked for unanimous consent to include the amendment in the infrastructure package. Unfortunately, objections by other senators prevented the amendment from being adopted. In particular, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) blocked the amendment because it would have been paired with Senator Richard Shelby’s (R-Ala.) amendment to increase defense spending. 

The compromise amendment was an agreement between Senators Toomey, Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Mark Warner (D-Va.), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona) to narrow the definition of a broker for digital assets for reporting tax information to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). While not perfect, the amendment was a significant improvement from the language in the base text of the package. 

We encourage members of the House of Representatives to fix the language in the base text and look forward to working with them in this endeavor. The last thing the United States government needs to do is regulate the cryptocurrency market to the point where the industry leaves the United States entirely.

Photo Credit: John Williams

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