|Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) won the coveted House Ways and Means Committee gavel over Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH) in what many have described as the most competitive chairman’s race in decades. Rep. Brady was tapped for the top job by the House Republican Steering Committee on November 4, and approved by the full Republican Conference on November 5. The conference also approved the appointment of Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC) to fill the open Ways and Means seat created when Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-WI) resigned his committee seat upon his election as Speaker. Rep. Rice is an accountant and a tax attorney, making him well-qualified for the tax-writing committee.
Chairman Brady hit the ground running, and we are encouraged that he put extenders legislation (which includes our LIHTC minimum credit provisions) on his list of priorities for action as soon as possible. Chairman Brady has already begun discussions with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orin Hatch (R-UT) on a path forward, but it is unclear whether extenders will move on their own or as part of a package. One possible vehicle would be the year-end omnibus spending bill that must be passed by December 11. There also is some discussion that extenders could be added to the highway conference report that will be negotiated between the House and Senate in the next few weeks following the November 5 passage of the House highway bill. Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) stated he does not think this will happen, but things are often unpredictable toward the end of a congressional session.
Regardless of the vehicle, we remain concerned about the length of the extension, and are pushing for as long as possible. Chairman Brady said he hopes the extenders could be made permanent or at least extended for two years. As you will recall, the House passed a number of bills making certain extenders permanent, while the Senate Finance Committee approved a two-year extension of the expired provisions. We are working with the industry ACTION group, as well as broader coalition of extenders stakeholders, to urge Congress to act on the extenders as quickly as possible, and to extend them for as long as possible. We will keep you posted on any developments.