HR 3684 could still be introduced with the proposed compromise amendment via a unanimous consent request – if no senators object.
Senators from the United States who introduced divergent amendments to the infrastructure deal’s crypto-related sections have found a consensus following a legislative setback.
Senator Pat Toomey announced Monday that a bipartisan agreement had been reached on an amendment to the infrastructure bill HR 3684, which is endorsed by Cynthia Lummis, Rob Portman, Mark Warner, Kyrsten Sinema, and Ron Wyden.
According to the Pennsylvania lawmaker, the new proposal would remove software developers, transaction validators, and node operators from tax reporting obligations, while tax reporting requirements would apply solely to intermediaries.
“We came together to provide greater clarity on the rules governing who are the true cryptocurrency brokers,” Toomey explained. “We are not proposing anything revolutionary or far-reaching.
Our solution makes it abundantly obvious that the term “broker” refers to only those individuals who facilitate transactions in which consumers purchase, sell, and swap digital assets.”
“None of us think this is an absolutely perfect solution, but it is much better than the underlying text.”
In an interview with Coin Center, Jerry Brito, the founder and CEO of the Washington, D.C.-based crypto think tank, revealed some of the text of the modified amendment, which revealed that it would expand the definition of “broker” in HR 3684 to include “any person who regularly effectuates transfers of digital assets on behalf of another person.”
Before the final vote on Tuesday, it is likely that the middle-of-the-road approach was an attempt to garner more political support and have at least some alternative to the language in the existing infrastructure bill on hand. As of Sunday, the Senate opted to adjourn debate on the infrastructure measure, thus prohibiting the introduction of any new amendments to the bill before it is put to a final vote.
However, the proposed compromise amendment to HR 3684 might still be included in the bill by a unanimous consent request – under Senate rules, the bill could be updated provided no other senator objects to the motion to include the amendment. In his statement, Wyden stated that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will not attempt to deny such a request for the proposed crypto amendment, implying that the amendment may potentially be attached to the bill later today.
According to Blockchain Association executive director Kristin Smith, “This isn’t perfect, but it’s a lot better than the underlying bill.” “This language should be adopted by the Senate as soon as possible.”
A previous proposal by Wyden, Lummis and Toomey advocated altering the definition of brokers in the bill to exempt crypto miners, node validators, and software developers from the definition of brokers.
The White House, on the other hand, supports an alternate amendment proposed by Senators Portman, Warner, and Sinema, despite the fact that the proposal solely excludes miners and wallet providers.
Many in the cryptocurrency community had endorsed the amendment proposed by Senators Wyden, Lummis, and Toomey while decrying the amendment proposed by Senators Portman, Warner, and Sinema.
The latter, according to some, would basically allow the United States government to pick and choose which crypto technologies are acceptable for regulators, whereas the original text of the bill would “impose unworkable requirements on Bitcoin node runner, developer, and miner”
“We can’t afford to make a mistake here,” Lummis stated during the press conference. In order to prevent people from attempting to avoid paying taxes by hiding their money in digital tax havens, “We need to ensure that people aren’t trying to avoid taxes by sheltering their money in digital taxes, but we have to do it in a way that doesn’t stifle innovation.”
“The silver lining behind all of this debate and discussion is that we found out who in the Senate is interested in this subject who maybe previously didn’t know anything about it. […] We finally were able to illustrate to members of the Senate that there are a lot of people that are interested in digital assets, working in some aspect of digital assets, and now have contact with their U.S. Senators.”
If the amendment is attached to the infrastructure package on Monday and adopted in a vote on Tuesday, the legislation would still need to pass through the House of Representatives before being signed into law by Vice President Joe Biden, who is currently in office.