The so-called “infrastructure” bill, which threatens to be passed by a coalition of Democrats and 18 of their faithful Senate Republican lapdogs, has very little indeed to do with infrastructure. The provisions in the bill to bolster CRT-inspired racial grievance politics and the spending bonanza that it initiates on virtually everything under the sun that Democrats could hope for have already attracted attention for their sheer absurdity.
For all that, however, the bill contains many other provisions that are not nearly as well known but are potentially just as absurd and dangerous.
One of these is a vaguely worded $30 billion cryptocurrency regulation that could be horrendously damaging.
Cruz and Loomis Call for an Amendment
Republican Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming have attempted to intercede and stop the passage of the infrastructure bill before introducing an amendment to alter the language in the cryptocurrency provision.
Democrats have been attempting to shut down any calls to introduce amendments, though Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York has the power to allow for such deliberations.
The 2,702-page monstrosity, which we can be guaranteed that absolutely no one has yet fully read, contains a provision requiring cryptocurrency “brokers” to report customer information, including transaction information, to the IRS for tax purposes. The trouble, however, is that the term “broker” is defined so vaguely in the bill that it is not clear whether cryptocurrency miners would be subject to this requirement.
This is a problem because in the cryptocurrency world, entities like miners, stakers and software developers who contribute to the blockchain do not have customers, and so it would be impossible for them to procure the information that the legislation requires.
When he took to Twitter, Sen. Cruz expressed the issue with characteristic pungency: “What the Senate said tonight: Let’s tax the hell out of something we know nothing about so we can pass a giant bill we haven’t read and spend the American people’s money on stuff we can’t afford,” he said.
Sen. Lummis was more restrained, saying, “I understand my colleagues’ positions. But real people are going to be hurt if we do not change the language in this bill.”
As of Tuesday, August 10, Cruz’s and Lummis’ proposed amendments have been blocked, and it appears that the crypto industry will have to contend with an extremely precarious and uncertain regulatory environment going forward.