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Crypto Sector on Edge as House Gears Up for Landmark Vote on SAB 121 Bill

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Crypto Sector on Edge as House Gears Up for Landmark Vote on SAB 121 Bill

House to vote on SAB 121 legislation July 9-10, per schedule by Leader Steve Scalise. SAB 121 requires crypto-holding entities to report to SEC, affecting custodial services. Overturning Biden's veto of SAB 121 needs a two-thirds Congress majority.

House members will vote on President Joe Biden’s Staff Accounting Bulletin(SAB) 121 legislation on July 9 or 10. This is according to the weekly schedule posted by House Majority Leader Steve Scalise.

The cryptocurrency industry is in the spotlight in the US amidst this campaign, which involves the first standalone crypto bill to ever pass through both chambers of Congress.

Congress Prepares to Vote on Landmark Crypto Bill

According to the weekly schedule, the US House will prepare to vote on the SAB 121 legislation between Tuesday and Wednesday. The proposed rule would require entities that hold cryptocurrencies and report to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to include those holdings on their balance sheets.

According to the US SEC, the SAB 121 legislation is “Non-binding staff guidance,” with the potential to improve customer disclosures. As it goes to the House, crypto proponents are anxious because of the implications of the bill passing.

With crypto custodial firms expected to report customer crypto holdings as liabilities, critics worry that this could deter banks from offering crypto services and stifle innovation.

“All that vote to KEEP SAB 121 are voting to INCREASE risk to investors,” economic freedom advocate Dave Weisberger wrote.

Weisberger supports Fox Business reporter Eleanor Terrett, who challenged disincentivizing banks and other “institutionally capable providers” from being custodians. In her opinion, having only a limited number of institutions providing custody of digital assets is risky. She says vetoing the SAB 121 would enhance this risk.

After a May resolution to repeal the law, the Biden administration chose to veto it anyway. This is despite it receiving bipartisan support from the House (228-182) and Senate (60-38).

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Biden’s SAB 121 Veto, A Direct Affront?

As it stands, most Democrats are embracing the fact that over 21 million American citizens owned crypto in 2023. This represents a significant voting pool in an election year, and they may be swayed to vote against it as a political imperative in the upcoming elections.

Amid growing adoption, the cryptocurrency community now includes around 40% of American adults. If this group views Biden’s veto of SAB 121 as a direct affront, it could influence their voting decisions in the November election.

Overturning President Biden’s veto would require a two-thirds (2/3) majority from both houses of Congress. This will not be an easy feat, according to Head of Government Affairs at venture capital firm Paradigm, Alexander Grieve.

“Let us see if the House can rally a ⅔ vote to overturn the veto (steep hill to climb but not impossible given how bipartisan the FIT vote was,” Grieve noted.

Nevertheless, it is premature to rule out the possibility of the legislation passing. The House would need at least 290 members to support overturning Biden’s veto. This means around 62 more votes than the 228 that initially voted for it.

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