Congresswoman Calls On Pelosi To Strike Anti-Bitcoin Language From Trillion-Dollar Bill


WASHINGTON, DC – June 01: Ranking member Anna G. Eshoo, D-Calif., during the House Energy and … [+] Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology hearing on commercial spectrum auctions. (Photo by Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images)

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California representative Anna G. Eshoo (D) has joined the rally against the proposed  tax reporting requirements for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the bipartisan trillion-dollar infrastructure bill. 

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In a letter sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Representative Eshoo called on the House to amend the definition of broker in the legislation along the lines of the unadopted crypto-friendly bipartisan amendment drafted by Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.). Her efforts follow a similar document sent from Blockchain Caucus co-chairs Tom Emmer, Darren Soto, David Schweikert and Bill Foster to all 435 representatives in the House protesting the proposed new reporting requirements. 

Supporters of the Lummis-Toomey amendment argue, as does Eshoo, that overly burdensome regulation of the booming crypto industry will drive innovation out of the United States. The concern is particularly relevant today as a regulatory crackdown in China has begun to steer cryptocurrency miners to the United States. Eshoo has focused her career around health and technology. She has also worked to wean the United States off dependence on Chinese manufacturing of lifesaving drugs. 

As it stands, the Senate version of the legislation adds onerous, and perhaps unfeasible, new reporting requirements for a wide range of industry participants such as cryptocurrency brokers, miners, validators, and wallet developers. These companies provide critical infrastructure to the crypto economy, but often do not know who the buyers and sellers are in transactions, leaving them unable to comply with the legislation’s broker requirements, which include know-your-customer rules. 

The House is set to return on August 23 to consider the plan, but has said it will not vote unless the Senate passes a separate bill committing $3.5 trillion to health care, child and elder care, education and climate change.

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“I share the goals of the underlying provision to address tax evasion in the cryptocurrency market, but the House should amend it, as the bipartisan compromise amendment would have, to meet this goal without stifling innovation in a nascent industry by imposing unworkable regulations,” wrote Eshoo. “I stand ready to work with you to ensure the infrastructure legislation addresses tax evasion to pay for its investments without unduly threatening a growing sector of our economy.”

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Author: Emily Mason, Contributor

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