January 30, 2015
The House Majority Leader has scheduled votes in February on making some tax extenders permanent—this means two more tax bills coming in rapid fire from Chairman Paul Ryan’s Ways and Means Committee.
The House will vote next month on (1) a bill to make permanent the increased Section 179 expensing allowances for small business, and (2) a bill to make permanent the business deduction for charitable donations of food inventory, donations of real property for conservation, and tax-free contributions to charities from IRA’s.
Thus, we have two tax bills making permanent extensions that could reach the Senate floor in March or April where they can be amended to include permanent WOTC. Our longstanding Coalition policy is to work to include WOTC on every tax bill that’s moving.
Right now our goal is to win a WOTC extension for 2015 on a tax bill that’s already passed the House with broad support, HR 22, The Hire More Heroes Act. H.R. 22 is a bill to facilitate hiring of veterans—it had 118 co-sponsors in the House, passed the House by 412-0, and was recently approved by the Senate Finance Committee 26-0.
In the Finance Committee, Senator Portman and Senator Cardin announced their intention to seek a Senate vote on their bi-partisan amendment extending WOTC retroactively for 2015 and expanding it to the long-term unemployed. Adding WOTC extension to H.R. 22 will benefit veterans even more because WOTC has expired and renewing WOTC will renew the VOW To Hire Heroes Act tax credits for hiring veterans.
There were 27 amendments proposed in the Finance Committee—the Portman-Cardin WOTC amendment was one of them. With so many amendments, Senate custom is for the Finance Committee leaders, Senator Hatch and Senator Wyden, to narrow them down to a few to save floor time. The Senate can also move faster if the Majority and Minority Leaders reach a time agreement on the allowed amendments.
Thus it’s not automatic the Portman/Cardin amendment will get a vote when H.R. 22 comes to the floor—this is where we come in. Our task is to persuade both our senators to urge Senators McConnell, Reid, Hatch, and Wyden to allow a vote on the Portman/Cardin amendment when H.R. 22 comes before the Senate.
We have an early opportunity to get WOTC passed for 2015, and by going to work we can make it happen—the odds are always lower when we stand on the sidelines—we need action!
It’s vital to contact your senators with the following message that you can put into your own words. Remember, to be effective, initial contacts by letter or e-mail must be followed up by continuous direct personal contact with your senators or their tax legislative assistants by phone, e-mail, or in person!