Support for cryptocurrencies is coming from candidates from both sides of the political divide in the upcoming 2020 U.S. midterm elections.
During the elections, taking place on Nov 8, some 35 of the 100 seats in the Senate will be contested, while all 435 seats in the House of Representatives will be in play. Several candidates seeking re-election have already put forth legislation making their approach towards cryptocurrencies rather clear.
One example is Ted Budd, a Republican Congressman from North Carolina seeking to represent the state in the Senate. Last year, Budd led a bipartisan group of officials pushing to ease crypto regulations in President Joe Biden’s Infrastructure Bill.
Another candidate played a similar role in working to ease regulation around technological innovation. Congressman Ro Khanna was appointed to the House conference committee for the America COMPETES Act earlier this year. The tech-focused legislation is intended to improve the ability of the United States to compete with China.
The California Democrat seeking re-election this year is a notable crypto advocate. “There’s a lot of positive, obviously [cryptocurrency] has to be regulated and can’t be exploited for illegal purposes, but overall it’s a positive,” Khanna said.
Meanwhile, crypto advocates in Ohio will have a win-win situation in their state’s Senate race this year. Democrat Tim Ryan, who as a Congressman co-sponsored a crypto-friendly bill designed to maintain reasonable tax reporting requirements, will face off against Republican J.D. Vance, who personally owns a sizable amount of Bitcoin.
Bipartisan Support for Crypto Swells
The hotly-contested election will see the Democrats struggle to maintain their slim majority in the Senate and their lead in the House of Representatives. Yet, during a period defined by such strong divisions within the country, cryptocurrencies remain a remarkably bipartisan issue.
This has been demonstrated in much of the proposed legislation surrounding cryptocurrencies so far. The most prominent example is a bill in the Senate introduced by Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand and Republican Cynthia Lummis.
Another bill was submitted by Democrat Debbie Stabenow and Republican John Boozeman, whose retirement this year will see his seat up for grabs.
Yet another Bill regarding stablecoin regulation was put forward by House members Democrat Maxine Waters and Republican Patrick McHenry. While both are up for re-election, running in California and North Carolina respectively, their seats are considered relatively safe.
A recent survey of likely voters also showed that they trust the both parties equally with regard to cryptocurrency. The poll also showed that support for cryptocurrency as a long-term part of the economy was divided evenly along party lines. The survey also revealed that candidates’ approach to crypto would be a motivating factor in voters’ decisions.
Crypto PACs Grow in Influence Ahead of Elections
Another force making their voices heard in this election have been cryptocurrency political actions committees (PACs). While many have sprung up in an effort to support pro-crypto candidates, a few have already played a role in this election’s primaries. These have also been reasonably evenly divided.
According to records from the Federal Election Committee, the PAC Web3 Forward has been supporting Democratic candidates. Meanwhile, rival PAC crypto innovation has been supporting Republicans. Yet, both of these groups have been primarily funded via another super PAC, the GMI PAC.
While this super PAC has seen backing from the likes of the managing partners of Andreessen Horowitz, it is really FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried who has been the force behind crypto donations.
In addition to contribution $2 million to the GMI PAC, SBF notably donated $5 million to President Joe Biden’s campaign in 2020