Why All Crypto Eyes Are on the U.S. Congress This Week By DailyCoin
The U.S. Congress has a packed agenda this week. There are three key pieces of legislation that they are planning to tackle:
This first piece of U.S. cryptocurrency regulation has attracted a lot of attention from the crypto space. The bill contains a broad definition for crypto “brokers” – whom are likely to be primary targets for taxation to help fund the infrastructure bill.
Under the current vague language, an argument could be made that “brokers” could include individual crypto miners and software developers, in addition to crypto exchanges.
According to the consensus, the language currently being used could cause a disruption in the whole cryptocurrency industry. Even if the current legislation bill is passed, you should remember some key points.
The U.S. Treasury Department, as it stands right now, would be the agency which would interpret the law. It’s been reported that the Treasury intends to “…provide clarifying guidance after the bill is passed to provide exemptions to firms that do not actually operate as brokers.” Those reports should help ease some of the FUD within the crypto-space surrounding this proposal.
Several media outlets have also reported that Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen opposed amendments to the bill in an effort to intentionally keep the “broker” definition vague to give her agency greater flexibility to interpret the pending law.
A critical defense spending bill was approved by the House of Representatives last week. It already includes a framework that allows for more careful consideration of a regulation outline for cryptocurrency within the US.
Coindesk announced Thursday that the bipartisan, must-pass defense spending bill, The National Defense Authorization Act, contained a crucial crypto provision. This proposed language will clarify whether the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission need to have final oversight over different sectors of the crypto market.
The Senate needs to approve its version of the defense bill. However, both Republicans and Democrats support it. It’s expected to pass easily through both houses and then through the entire Congress.
The crypto language included in the defense bill was introduced by Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., and could replace the unclear crypto language contained in the infrastructure bill. This is because the defense clause would demand that law establish the crypto control sphere.
Furthermore, the defense provision would mandate a more thorough review of the cryptocurrency regulatory needs by creating a working group within 90 days of the bill’s passage. It would include SEC representatives and CFTC officials, along with non-governmental people from small companies and the financial sector.
It’s worth noting that even though the $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill cannot have new amendments added at this point, it can have language removed. It’s not impossible to see the crypto language removed from the House version of the infrastructure bill at the last minute, on the grounds that last week’s defense bill already contains a path forward for crypto regulation.
Finally, a Washington, D.C. policy expert – speaking on condition of anonymity with DailyCoin – says it’s not guaranteed that either the $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan or $3.5 trillion social programs bill will pass the Senate in their current versions.
“The Speaker [Nancy Pelosi] announced last night that the House will vote on the bipartisan infrastructure package on Thursday. The 8-10 moderate Democrats that wanted to vote on infrastructure before reconciliation may find their satisfaction in this announcement. This does not mean, however, that either package will pass the Senate.”
Given all these legislative wrinkles that need to be ironed out, it should be an interesting week to say the least.
On The Flipside
- Even though Democrats control both houses of Congress, there is a lot of division within that party.
- If they can’t secure every Democratic vote, one or both of these provisions could fail
- That would be a major setback for the Biden administration and the Democratic agenda to advance any significant legislation before next year’s midterm election.
Why you need to care.
This week may be the turning point for cryptocurrency regulation in the most powerful economy on the planet.
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