Exclusive – Rep. Ted Budd: Infrastructure Bill Cryptocurrency Tax ‘Devastating’ for American Jobs

A picture taken on February 6, 2018 shows a visual representation of the digital crypto-currency Bitcoin, at the "Bitcoin Change" shop in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv. / AFP PHOTO / JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images

Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview Monday that the cryptocurrency regulations in the so-called bipartisan infrastructure bill are “devastating” for American jobs and the country’s competitiveness in the financial technology industry.

Budd spoke to Breitbart News as Senate Republicans and Democrats unveiled their $1.2 trillion bipartisan “infrastructure” bill. Lawmakers hope to offset some of the cost of their mammoth, 2,702-page legislation by including a roughly $30 billion tax on cryptocurrencies.

Specifically, the legislation would require that any broker that transfers digital currencies would need to file a tax return under a “modified information reporting regime.”

Budd, who represents the tech-friendly state of North Carolina, swiftly denounced the provision, contending that it would undermine American leadership in the industry and kill American jobs.

Budd said that the proposal would be “devastating” for North Carolina’s banking industry — especially in the “Research Triangle” of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill — which has outpaced San Francisco, California, and rivals New York, New York.

“When you look in the triangle area which is Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, I mean tremendous innovation there, you look at the second-largest banking center in the country, around Charlotte, you know, right behind New York and ahead of the financial aspects of San Francisco,” Budd said. “This is devastating; we [North Carolina] have so much software technology, financial innovation, technology innovation coming out of these areas, our state. This could potentially choke it down. I’m worried about North Carolina, in that regard, but I’m also worried about our position as a country with this pay for.”

Sens. Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Richard Burr (R-NC) have led GOP negotiations on the infrastructure bill and voted last week to advance the legislation. By negotiating the makeup of the bill and advancing the legislation, they could be supporting legislation that could annihilate North Carolina’s banking industry.

The North Carolina congressman, who is running for Senate to replace the retiring Burr, said that the proposal is a “very weak attempt” to pay for the infrastructure bill, which might hurt America’s competitiveness and result in the offshoring of jobs.

Budd said lawmakers should follow other pro-crypto lawmakers’ examples, such as Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), to fight for American dominance in the cryptocurrency sector and achieve “regulatory clarity” for these companies prosper.

“It’s only a few percentage points to try to pay for. So, very small, but it’s outsized as far as the industry in a very nascent stage; we have a relatively new less than a decade old crypto industry, and you’re really going to offshore this, if we’re lucky, to the Estonia’s, to the Singapore’s, and if we’re unlucky to places like China. And, so we have to stay strong, as a nation, and we have to stay competitive. And this really reduces our international competitiveness when it comes to crypto.”

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.

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