On November 1, 2021, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) introduced legislation that would allow merchants on Capitol Hill to use cryptocurrencies in transactions.
According to Sean Moran of Breitbart News, Cruz has proposed the Adopting Cryptocurrency in Congress as an Exchange of Payment for Transactions (ACCEPT) resolution.
It is a measure that would direct the Architect of the Capitol, the Chief Administrative Officer of the House of Representatives, and the Secretary of the Senate to solicit and sign contracts with foodservice and vending machine providers who accept cryptocurrency payments.
In addition, the legislation would encourage congressional gift shops to accept cryptocurrencies as payment.
On November 1, Cruz told Breitbart News that Congress could take the lead on cryptocurrency adoption by accepting them as a form of payment and raising awareness about the technology 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 said 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 stood out among his peers by taking an interest in cryptocurrencies. For the most part, there has been a bipartisan degree of skepticism towards the technology on Capitol Hill.
Many senators voted for a $1.2 trillion bipartisan “infrastructure bill.” The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Cruz opposed this bill not just on fiscal grounds but also for regulatory purposes.
For example, this bill featured $30 billion in regulations on the cryptocurrency sector. Cruz even went out of his way to call for removing the cryptocurrency regulation 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 during a speech on the Senate floor back in August.
As a speaker at the Texas Blockchain Summit in October, Cruz asserted that Bitcoin mining could significantly fix Texas’ electric grid problems.
Cruz believes that Bitcoin mining could boost additional energy capacity to assist the state in cases of blackouts or power shortages, which he expanded on.
“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.”
For this reason, the Texas Senator believes Bitcoin mining could play a “significant role [in] strengthening and hardening the resilience of the grid.”
Cruz stated he would like Texas to be the epicenter of the Bitcoin and broader cryptocurrency space. “I would like to see Texas become the center of the universe for bitcoin and crypto,” Cruz declared.