Senate about to pass the bill that threatens cryptocurrencies. This is what happens next


  • Senate leaders are debating which amendments will be put to a vote.
  • If passed, the bill will go back to the House.

Senate is preparing to vote this weekend on a $ 1 trillion infrastructure bill that will fund roads, bridges and drinking water.

But first, you need to figure out what to do with cryptocurrencies.

To pay for part of the bill’s proposals, its authors included a provision that would broaden the definition of “broker” to include those dealing with digital assets. Such brokers should submit 1099 forms to the IRS on behalf of their clients. However, rather than just including custodians and cryptocurrency exchanges that you might expect to be part of this category of digital brokers, the language was broad enough to trap non-holding players, such as Bitcoin miners, validators that y process transactions on proof-of-stake networks, wallet providers, and even DeFi protocol developers.

After receiving criticism from crypto advocates, who argue that compliance will be near impossible, Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) have offered an amendment that exempts non-possession. actors. This was followed by a simultaneous amendment by Senators Mark Warner (D-VA) and Rob Portman (R-OH) that would explicitly exempt only miners and providers of proof-of-work wallets from the requirement.

Advocacy groups like the Blockchain Association support the Wyden-Lummis-Portman Amendment. y oppose the Warner-Portman amendment because it is not “technology neutral,” it favors Bitcoin and other proof-of-work blockchains over proof-of-stake chains, and “imposes information requirements on those who do not. they can fulfill ».

So what happens next?

Step 1: manage amendments

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Sources familiar with the procedure described decipher that neither of the two amendments will necessarily have a vote. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have negotiated which of the 500 proposed amendments will be voted on. Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN) blocked the deal, which required unanimous consent, on issues related to bill costs.

y will meet again on Saturday to try again – Sen. Hagerty’s position is probably useless, as it limits the ability of the amendments to pass, but does not stop the bill from passing, before moving on to call for the closure and end of debate.

A source with knowledge of the negotiations deciphered, “I would say something like the Warner Amendment may not get a direct vote in the Senate.”

If no agreement is reached on the amendments, the original bill must be voted on.

Step 2: manage the account

After all the amendments have been drafted and dealt with, or not, the Senate will move to vote on the entire bill, which requires 60 votes to advance. If the list of Republican senators making good-faith amendments to the bill is any indication, Democrats have enough support in the hall to pass the package.

Step 3: send it back home

Even if it happens, don’t expect the drama to end anytime soon. House of Representatives has already passed a $ 715 billion infrastructure bill, mostly on partisan lines. It wasn’t the same as the Senate bill before the amendment process, and it won’t be the same afterward. To become law, the chambers must agree to the bill.

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House Democrats could easily bring the bill to President Biden’s desk by passing the Senate version, but they won’t be in a rush to do so. For starters, they are scheduled to remain on hiatus in their home districts until September 20. Second, House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi is waiting for the Senate to pass an even bigger spending package, costing $ 3.5 trillion and covering healthcare, education, climate change and other democratic priorities. As Senate Democrats face tougher odds of getting that package, even making it part of a budget reconciliation process that only requires 51 votes to pass, it could take some time.

Progressive Democrats, in particular, have expressed their willingness to maintain a more comprehensive infrastructure spending plan, the New York Times.

Members of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus can also provide a key in the proceedings. Republicans Ted Budd and Tom Emmer, as well as Democrat Darren Soto sent a letter to Leader Schumer arguing for the Wyden-Lummis-Toomey Amendment.

If the House and Senate can get close enough to infrastructure legislation, the two houses can negotiate differences in a conference committee with representatives from both the Senate and the House transportation and infrastructure committees. Only then would he go to President Biden’s desk. Once signed, the bill becomes law.

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