Exclusive – Rep. Tom Emmer: Infrastructure Bill Cryptocurrency Tax ‘Dire’ for U.S. Jobs

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Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) told Breitbart News in an exclusive statement Monday that the cryptocurrency tax in the so-called bipartisan infrastructure bill would be “dire” for American jobs.

Emmer, the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), spoke to Breitbart News as the so-called bipartisan infrastructure bill contains a roughly $30 billion cryptocurrency tax that carries drastic implications for American jobs.

Emmer, a pro-cryptocurrency lawmaker, said that the bill would carry drastic consequences, which could result in the loss of jobs as America recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

“The crypto pay-for in the infrastructure bill will be dire for the U.S. crypto industry. It mandates a Know Your Customer reporting requirement for blockchain and crypto entities that can’t be met, for instance, by miners. This provision showcases Congress’ lack of crypto literacy or appreciation for the crypto innovators that bring jobs and opportunity to the United States and must be corrected,” the Minnesota conservative said.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 14: Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) was elected chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee for the next Congress during leadership elections in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill November 14, 2018 in Washington, DC. In the wake of losing more than House 33 seats to Democrats in last week's midterm elections, Republicans elected House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) minority leader and Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) as minority whip for the 116th Congress. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) was elected chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee for the next Congress. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Emmer, as the NRCC chair, pushed the House GOP congressional committee to accept cryptocurrency donations as a way to champion the “innovative technology.”

The legislation would expand the definition of a broker, requiring that any broker that transfers digital currencies would need to file a tax return under a “modified information reporting regime.”

This would require that many aspects of the cryptocurrency industry might have to comply with onerous regulations that would not normally fit the definition of a broker.

“We interpret this to mean software wallet developers, hardware wallet manufacturers, multisig service providers, liquidity providers, DAO token holders and potentially even miners,” Kristin Smith, the executive director of the Blockchain Association, said.

Lawmakers said they would propose an alternative after seeing how much damage the proposal would create.

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, said Monday that the current framework, sponsored by Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), is “unworkable.”

“Congress should not rush forward with this hastily-designed tax reporting regime for cryptocurrency, especially without a full understanding of the consequences,” Toomey said.

“By including an overly broad definition of broker, the current provision sweeps in non-financial intermediaries like miners, network validators, and other service providers,” the Pennsylvania Republican said. He also revealed that he plans to offer an amendment to fix the proposal.

Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) exclusively told Breitbart News Monday that the tax would be “devastating” for American jobs and competitiveness in the financial technology industry in parts of the country that are tech-heavy. He also warned that this proposal could harm America’s competitiveness in the crypto industry.

Portman’s office told CoinDesk Tuesday that the proposal does not intend to capture bitcoin miners and other entities, although some bitcoin industry experts remain skeptical.

Perianne Boring, the president of founder of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, told Breitbart News in an interview Monday that the final legislation narrowed the definition of a broker; however, the definition is “still overly broad and vague.”

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

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