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First Vote On Tax Extenders Bill Occurs 11:00 AM May 13th

By admin • 07 January 2015 • Uncategorized

May 12, 2014

The Senate cleared the way today for action on the EXPIRE bill, H.R. 3474, extending WOTC and other tax extenders retroactively through December 31st, 2015.

Majority Leader Harry Reid has set 11:00 AM Tuesday for a vote to end debate on the motion to proceed to the bill, known as “cloture.”  Sixty or more votes are required to invoke cloture.

If cloture is invoked, the Senate will consider amendments to the bill, or more likely, Senator Reid and Senator McConnell will negotiate with various senators on their proposed amendment(s) to see if they can be disposed of without floor action.  Many amendments will be disposed of by Senator Reid, speaking for the majority, rejecting amendment{s) Democrats disagree  with.  Reid has an open line to the White House and, most of the time, stands by   Administration policy.  This way, some 200 amendments will be quickly reduced to around 20 to be negotiated with the opposition.

It’s uncertain how this process will play out in the days ahead—if Majority and Minority cooperate (this is a bi-partisan bill, and Senator Wyden has been working for a month behind the scenes to resolve amendments) passage could occur early next week.  But odds are this complex and controversial bill will continue on the floor through next week, with final passage around May 22nd when the Senate adjourns for Memorial Day recess—provided the bill isn’t derailed by failing a vote for cloture.

What’s the outlook for this bill in the House?

Recall Chairman Camp has moderated his position on a short-term extender bill and now views it as a step toward tax reform.  We’ll have to see what kind of bill he’ll produce in Ways and Means.  WOTC isn’t a sure thing, which is why our lobbying Ways and Means Republicans is so important.  If we’ve done our work, as soon as the Senate bill goes to the House we can immediately contact Ways and Means Republicans we’ve been in touch with and urge their vote to include WOTC in the House version of H.R. 3474, the tax extenders bill. 

We need Republican votes for passage in Ways and Means because Congressman Levin and a majority of Democrats might vote against an extenders bill that’s not offset, as they did on the permanent R&E extension.  We are, however, arguing with these Democrats that short-term extension of current policy need not be offset—a position the Administration agrees with.

Here our connections with Speaker John Boehner, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, and other members of the leadership will be important to call upon.   

One big worry is off the table, however.  Two years ago the House would have demanded an extenders bill’s cost be offset by revenue or spending cuts, but last Friday the House Republican majority passed a permanent R&E tax credit, costing $156 billion, without offset, and we expect this policy will continue for EXPIRE’s package of short-term extensions costing $85 billion.

Joint Committee on Taxation places WOTC’s cost at $3.16 billion for a two-year extension, which equates to nearly $5 billion in tax credits for an estimated 2.3 million hires over two years.  As in the past, WOTC continues to grow to meet current workforce needs.

We will keep you informed.

PAUL E. SUPLIZIO

President, WOTC Coalition

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