Prospects for a Lame-Duck Tax Package Remain Uncertain

Leadership in both the House and Senate have previously expressed interest in completing a package to extend expired tax provisions, but the prospects for a tax package remain uncertain because of the limited legislative time remaining this year. It is also unclear if Republicans and Democrats will have the appetite to negotiate given the upcoming shift in power resulting from the midterm elections, particularly if Democrats decide to postpone legislative action until they assume control of the House in January. Changes in leadership on House and Senate tax-writing committees next year may also impact Congress’s appetite for finalizing a tax package during the lame-duck session. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) announced he will take over as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee following current Chairman Orrin Hatch’s (R-UT) retirement, and current Ways and Means Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA) will become Chairman of the House tax-writing committee.

If a tax package does come together in the remaining weeks of 2018, Enterprise urges Congress to include provisions to strengthen and expand the Housing Credit, as well as permanently extend NMTC before it expires at the end of 2019. To support advocacy efforts in the lame-duck session and in the next Congress, the ACTION Campaign has released updated district fact sheets to show the Housing Credit’s impact in each congressional district and the affordable housing needs that still remain in every state. ACTION also updated its state fact sheets last month. And last week, Reps. Steve Stivers (R-OH) and Jose Serrano (D-NY) sent a letter signed by a bipartisan group of 34 House members to Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) in support of the permanent extension of NMTC. In the Senate, Roy Blunt (R-MO), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) have signaled their support for an NMTC extension to the Finance Committee.

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