We try to avoid politics around here (except when it’s an excuse to, say, estimate the market price of a politician’s dignity). But occasionally it veers into areas closer to FT Alphaville’s spleen and we just can’t help ourselves.
Here is the text of an actual bill that Ted Cruz — the Princeton and Harvard-educated one-time presidential contender and current Texas senator — introduced earlier this week (H/T Molly White):
SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 1—REQUIRING THE ARCHITECT OF THE CAPITOL, THE SECRETARY OF THE SENATE, AND THE CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TO CONTRACT WITH FOOD SERVICE CONTRACTORS AND VENDING MACHINE CONTRACTORS FOR THE CAPITOL COMPLEX THAT ACCEPT CRYPTOCURRENCY, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
Mr. CRUZ submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Rules and Administration:
Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring),
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This resolution may be cited as the “Adopting Cryptocurrency in Congress as an Exchange of Payment for Transactions Resolution’‘ or the “ACCEPT Resolution’‘.
SEC. 2. ACCEPTING OF CRYPTOCURRENCY AT RESTAURANTS, VENDING MACHINES, AND GIFT SHOPS IN THE CAPITOL COMPLEX.
(a) Definitions.–In this section–
(1) the term “Capitol Buildings’‘ means the Capitol Buildings described in section 5101 of title 40, United States Code; and
(2) the term “digital asset’‘ means a natively electronic asset that–
(A) is recorded on a cryptographically secured distributed ledger; and
(B) is designed to confer only economic or access rights.
(b) Acceptance of Cryptocurrency.–The Architect of the Capitol, the Secretary of the Senate, and the Chief Administrative Officer of the House of Representatives shall each, for the Capitol Buildings that are under their jurisdiction–
(1) subject to subsection (c), solicit and enter into contracts to provide food service and vending machines in such Capitol Buildings with persons that will accept digital assets as payment for goods; and
(2) encourage the gift shops in such Capitol Buildings to accept digital assets as payment for goods.
(c) Additional Considerations.–The Architect of the Capitol, the Secretary of the Senate, and the Chief Administrative Officer of the House of Representatives may not enter into contracts described in subsection (b)(1) if the Architect of the Capitol, in consultation with the Secretary of the Senate and the Chief Administrative Officer of the House, reports to the Committee on Rules and Administration of the Senate and the Committee on House Administration of the House of Representatives that entering into such contracts would preclude the selection of alternatives that are cost-effective and value-centered for patrons.
That’s self-avowed opponent of government over-reach Ted Cruz tabling a bill that would require vending machines on Capitol Hill to accept cryptocurrency payments.
Introducing a bill is a bit like asking a question in Parliament: most of the time it means the square root of squat. This is just a bit of pro-crypto posturing for a politician who has already proven himself willing to debase himself for the “digital assets” industry.
Today I had the pleasure of touring the largest #Bitcoin mining facility in North America in Rockdale!
I am proud to lead the fight for the crypto industry in the Senate.
Texas will continue to be the center for crypto innovation! pic.twitter.com/28BYfEhJzQ
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) August 30, 2022
In fact, Cruz tabled something similar back in 2021. This latest bill will go nowhere as well. And even in the unlikely event that it were to pass, might section C blow up the whole bill anyway?
But to do so again now — after the whole 2022 crypto omnishambles — shows pretty remarkable desperation to tap into the shrinking pool of crypto bro donations (a cross-Atlantic phenomenon, sadly). Thankfully, US politicians have nothing more pressing to think about these days, eh?
In Cruz’s defence, perhaps vending machines represent the perfect entry-level crypto experience. Having their money inexplicably stolen would prepare any potential HODLer for the wild world of crypto exchanges.