According to Senator Pat Toomey, “Who knows how much innovation we’re going to stifle, who knows what kind of new apps never emerge,”
Efforts to reach a compromise on crypto-related measures in the bipartisan infrastructure agreement failed to garner the unanimous assent needed in the Senate, and the package is now likely to be put to a full vote without any more revisions.
Senator Tom Carper, the Democratic floor manager for infrastructure bill HR 3684, introduced the compromise amendment agreed upon earlier today by Senators Pat Toomey, Cynthia Lummis, Rob Portman, Mark Warner, Kyrsten Sinema, and Ron Wyden to clarify what constitutes a cryptocurrency broker. But Alabama Senator Richard Shelby expressed displeasure when Carper refused to agree to include Shelby’s own unrelated amendment to the bill – a proposal that would increase defence funding by $50 billion.
With only two words — “I object” — the Alabama member appears to have single-handedly prevented the crypto amendment from being integrated into the measure before it was put to a final vote. Though the infrastructure agreement might still be adjusted in the House of Representatives if it is passed by the Senate, any amendment would necessitate the involvement of other politicians and, therefore, different compromises.
Toomey, one of the leading proponents of the amendment, did not dismiss the seemingly frivolous objection, and he spoke of the potential ramifications of leaving the language of the transaction reporting requirements unchanged.
“All I want to do is have a vote on an amendment that fixes this in a way that has bipartisan agreement, in a way that constrains this to apply narrowly to the people who are actually the intermediaries, running a centralized exchange, who have this information,” the senator stated.
“We’ll be back on this, because we’ll do a lot of damage. Who knows how much innovation we’re going to stifle. Who knows what kind of new apps never emerge. It’s hard to predict what kind of completely impossible mandate results in, but it’s not good, and it’s going to bring us back here trying to clean up a mess which we could have prevented.”
He went on to say, It’s unlikely that the crypto amendment will find a way forward in the Senate before it is put to a vote in the House this week. If the bill passes the Senate, it would still have to pass through the House before being signed into law by Vice President Biden.