Join us for a call this Friday, October 9, at 2 p.m. EDT, where we will discuss the status of tax extenders and our Housing Credit legislation.
Friday, October 9 @ 2:00 p.m. EDT
Participant code: 677-49-533#
Tax Reform and Tax Extenders
Having averted a government shutdown by passing a continuing resolution (CR) on September 30, Congress will now turn to the next set of impending legislative deadlines, the two most immediate of which are reauthorizing the Highway Trust Fund and lifting the debt limit. The most recent temporary extension of the Highway Trust Fund runs out on October 29. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew sent a letter to Congress on October 1 indicating that the debt limit will be reached on or around November 5, which will require congressional action in order to raise the debt ceiling and prevent default.
The CR provides time for congressional leaders and the White House to negotiate new budget caps with higher top-line spending limits for FY 2016 and FY 2017. If those negotiations are successful, appropriators will redraft their spending bills at the higher levels. Congress will then need to pass those bills or an additional CR on or before December 11 in order to avoid a government shutdown.
Tax extenders may be considered as part of any these negotiations, though it is also possible that further action on tax extenders will be delayed until after Congress addresses these issues. In addition to agreeing to a legislative strategy for moving tax extenders, Congress will need to determine the duration of the tax extenders package and whether it will make any of the individual extenders a permanent part of the tax code.
Comprehensive tax reform is not on the agenda during the next few months, and potentially not for the rest of this Congress. House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI-1) still favors using revenue generated from potential International tax reform to pay for highway spending, but Senate opposition is likely to thwart his efforts.
House Leadership Races
On September 25, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH-8) announced that he will retire from his position as speaker and from Congress on October 30. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA-22) is considered the frontrunner to be the next speaker, but faces challenges from Representatives Jason Chaffetz (R-UT-3) and Daniel Webster (R-FL-10). House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan, who was initially considered as a contender for the position, confirmed that he will not be running. The House Republican conference will hold elections for speaker on October 8, and a floor vote will be held later in the month.
Representatives Tom Price (R-GA-6) and Steve Scalise (R-LA-1) have both announced that they will run for House Majority Leader if Kevin McCarthy vacates the position.
Minimum Credit Rate Legislation
The companion legislation in the House, H.R. 1142, now has 72 co-sponsors. The most recent additions are Representatives Patrick Meehan (R-PA-7), Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI-2), Betty McCollum (D-MN-4), David Price (D-NC-4), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA-40), Marcia Fudge (D-OH-11) and Marcy Kaptur (D-OH-9).
Join the ACTION Campaign
The ACTION Campaign now has over 1,000 members calling on Congress to support the Housing Credit and Housing Bonds. Join the campaign, or if you are already a campaign supporter, reach out to your partner organizations and encourage them to join the campaign as well.