Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) proposed legislation Monday that would position Congress to lead on issues facing cryptocurrency by having Capitol Hill merchants accept digital currencies, Breitbart News has learned exclusively.
Cruz proposed the Adopting Cryptocurrency in Congress as an Exchange of Payment for Transactions (ACCEPT) resolution, which would instruct the Architect of the Capitol, the Secretary of the Senate, and the Cheif Administrative Officer of the House of Representatives to solicit and enter into contracts with food service and vending machine providers who accept cryptocurrency as a payment method. This legislation would also push congressional gift shops to accept digital currencies as payment.
Cruz told Breitbart News in a statement Monday that Congress can lead on cryptocurrencies by adopting them as payment and increasing awareness about cryptocurrencies in Congress.
“As consumers better understand and embrace cryptocurrency, merchants are increasingly accepting crypto as a payment method. Congress is typically slow to adopt new technology,” Cruz explained to Breitbart News. “My bill would position Congress to lead on this issue by having congressional cafeterias, vending machines, and gift shops accept crypto payments.”
Cruz has led in the cryptocurrency space while some Republicans and all Democrats have pursued regulations of the burgeoning industry that would potentially kill jobs, harm American liberties, and send future cryptocurrency jobs overseas.
While many senators voted in August for the $1.2 trillion so-called bipartisan infrastructure bill, or the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which contained an onerous $30 billion regulation of the crypto industry, Cruz opposed it. The Texas senator even advocated stripping the controversial amendment from the bill.
“Let’s recognize that if we gathered all 100 senators in this chamber and asked them to stand up and articulate two sentences defining what in the hell a cryptocurrency is, that you would not get greater than five who could answer that question,” Cruz said in a fiery Senate floor speech in August.
In a fireside chat during the Texas Blockchain Summit in October, Cruz said Bitcoin mining could help fix Texas’s crumbling electric grid. The Texas conservative contended that Bitcoin mining could help create additional energy capacity to help the state during blackouts or power shortages:
Because of the ability of Bitcoin mining to turn on or off instantaneously, if you have a moment where you have a power shortage or a power crisis, whether it’s a freeze or some other natural disaster where power generation capacity goes down, that creates the capacity to instantaneously shift that energy to put it back on the grid.
Cruz said Bitcoin mining could have a “significant role [in] strengthening and hardening the resilience of the grid.”
Cruz also said that Bitcoin mining could use waste gas products as a power source, which would use otherwise polluting byproducts of natural gas.
“Some of the really exciting endeavors that people are looking at is ‘Can we capture that gas instead of burning it? Rather than flaring that natural gas you’re putting it to productive use,” Cruz said.
Cruz said that he would like Texas to become the center of the cryptocurrency universe.
“I would like to see Texas become the center of the universe for bitcoin and crypto,” Cruz said.
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.