Cryptocurrency amendment blocked in Senate

A bipartisan amendment to redefine who would be subject to new cryptocurrency regulation requirements under the Senate infrastructure bill was blocked Monday after Sen. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyBlack Hawk pilot shot down in Somalia jumps into Alabama Senate race Senate Democrats ditch Hyde amendment for first time in decades Senate Democrats unveil remaining spending bills, teeing up clash with Republicans MORE (R-Ala.) tried to attach his untreated proposal to boost military spending by $50 billion.

Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyBlack women look to build upon gains in coming elections Watch live: GOP senators present new infrastructure proposal Sasse rebuked by Nebraska Republican Party over impeachment vote MORE (R-Pa.) put forward the amendment, which is co-sponsored by Sens. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerSunday shows preview: CDC signs off on 'mix and match' vaccine boosters Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — Biden seeks to quell concerns over climate proposals Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — Intelligence report warns of climate threats in all countries MORE (D-Va.), Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaDems look to keep tax on billionaires in spending bill Sunday shows - Democrats' spending plan in the spotlight Independent senator: 'Talking filibuster' or 'alternative' an option MORE (D-Ariz.), Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by Raytheon Technologies — Biden backtracks on Taiwan Top GOP senators want joint review of Afghan visa process Timken rolls out six-figure ad campaign, hits Fauci MORE (R-Ohio) and Cynthia LummisCynthia Marie LummisSenate Republicans raise concerns about TSA cyber directives for rail, aviation Congress needs to step up on crypto, or Biden might crush it Senators preview bill to stop tech giants from prioritizing their own products MORE (R-Wyo.) and supported by the Treasury Department, and tried to get it added to the bipartisan infrastructure bill.

But after Shelby requested to add his amendment to boost military spending to the bill, it was blocked by Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersRepublican spin on Biden is off the mark Sanders on Medicare expansion in spending package: 'It's not coming out' Briahna Joy Gray: Biden must keep progressive promises or risk losing midterms MORE (I-Vt.). 


Sen. Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperDemocrats say they're committed to reducing emissions in Biden plan Is the Biden administration afraid of trade? Congress sends 30-day highway funding patch to Biden after infrastructure stalls MORE (D-Del.) introduced the amendment again, but it was blocked by Shelby after Carper objected to tacking on Shelby’s amendment. 

Toomey expressed disgust that the amendment was stuck.

“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. 

“This isn't like a whim of the senator from Pennsylvania. There's like nobody who disputes that there's a problem here,” he added. 

Toomey's amendment would redefine “brokers” in the infrastructure bill in a way that aims to keep software developers and transaction validators from being subject to new reporting requirements laid out in the infrastructure bill. 


Cryptocurrency industry leaders have argued that the existing definition of “broker” under the infrastructure bill would rope in software developers and so-called miners to be subject to the new reporting requirements, despite the fact that they may not have access to the data they would be asked to report. 

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOvernight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Colin Powell's death highlights risks for immunocompromised The Senate confirmation process is broken — Senate Democrats can fix it Australian politician on Cruz, vaccines: 'We don't need your lectures, thanks mate' MORE (R-Texas) fiercely pushed back on the original language, arguing that the “overly broad definition” would “block rapid innovation in cryptocurrencies” and “endanger the privacy” of Americans. 

Cruz attempted to get approval for a separate amendment to strike the language regarding cryptocurrency requirements from the bill. 

But Cruz objected to Shelby’s request to also add his defense amendment to the bill, leading Shelby to then block Cruz’s amendment

The compromise amendment put forward Monday followed a fierce debate last week over two competing amendments to redefine or carve out exemptions under the reporting requirements for cryptocurrency. 


Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenClimate advocates turn sights on Wall Street Democrats scramble to reach deal on taxes Pelosi open to scrapping key components in spending package MORE (D-Ore.) had put forward an alternative amendment with Toomey and Lummis, but it failed to get support from the Biden administration. 

Wyden tweeted that the compromise amendment did not offer enough privacy and security protection but said it is “certainly better” than the language in the underlying bill. 

If senators are unable to secure another vote on the amendment without objection from a single senator, the infrastructure bill will be put forward for a vote with the existing language that industry leaders and some lawmakers have criticized.