Senate ready for key vote, despite crypto shock

The Senate is set to give President Joe Biden a major victory by passing a bipartisan $ 1,000 billion infrastructure bill.

“This is a bill that would end years of stalemate in Washington and create millions of well-paying jobs, put America on a new course to win the race for the economy in the 21st century,” Biden said on Friday.

After weeks of negotiations and wrangling – and some last-minute delays – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Thursday held a critical procedural vote on the package for Saturday. Efforts to speed passage of the bill on Thursday collapsed as senators worked on amendments and first-year Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN) refused to speed up the process.

Hagerty said he opposed because of a Congressional Budget Office score of the bill showing it would add $ 256 billion to deficits over the next 10 years. “While we have been hearing for weeks that [the infrastructure bill] would be paid, this is not the case, ”Hagerty said in a declaration, adding that he was particularly concerned that Democrats were seeking to pass this bill so they could move on to a $ 3.5 trillion budget resolution, which he called a “tax and spending frenzy “.

But the CBO’s score did not appear to significantly weaken support from other Republicans, leaving the package on track to eventually pass.

A clash over cryptocurrency rules: The $ 550 billion in new spending in the infrastructure bill is funded in part by new IRS reporting requirements for cryptocurrency brokers, which are expected to raise $ 28 billion over 10 years. But Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) and others sought to determine who would be subject to the new reporting requirement, warning that the text as written could have a “chilling effect” on the development of the mining and cryptography software.

An amendment proposed by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Senses. Toomey and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) would apparently limit how the new rules would be enforced, but the White House rejected the proposal, saying Thursday it prefers a competing Sense amendment. Rob Portman (R-OH), Mark Warner (D-VA) and others. This measure would exempt more players in the cryptocurrency world from the reporting requirement, but is still not as broad as the proposal by Wyden, Toomey and Lummis. For more details on the differences in dueling plans and the issues involved, see The Washington Post or CNBC.

The bottom line: Saturday’s vote will require 60 votes to move forward, meaning at least 10 Republicans will need to back it. Senators could always ask for additional amendments, which would prolong the debate. But if the bill can avoid filibuster, it will head for adoption, with a final vote taking place as early as Saturday afternoon or possibly being postponed until next week.

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