Tax Credits Blog

WOTC well positioned for upcoming budget talks

From Vaughn Hromiko of wotcplanet.com:

Although not new news, it’s important to reiterate.  The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (or WOTC) has the stated support of the White House and the majority-party leadership in the U.S. Senate.  In fact, the President’s budget proposes to make WOTC a permanent feature of the tax code.

With the stage now being set for budget talks, the WOTC Coalition is ready to press this issue.  WOTC will be on the table for discussion.  By no measure, however, is an extension a sure thing. We are approaching a key moment when WOTC proponents must intensify their lobbying efforts.

Paul Suplizio of the WOTC Coalition addressed the issue this morning.

Passing a bill to fund the government through December 15th is essential before budget talks on spending and taxes between Congress and the White House can get underway. Those talks will be up against a December 15th deadline for completion, and a looming sequester on January 15th will be a further incentive to deal.

The question of extending WOTC and other expiring tax provisions will be on the table during these talks; thus, the period from October 1st to December 15th will be vital to WOTC’s future and demand an all-out effort by our Coalition.

The following is published here with permission.

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Subject: Senate Republicans Agree To Move Immediately To Government Funding Bill
From: Paul Suplizio
Date: Mon, September 23, 2013 2:57 am

September 23, 2013

Passing a bill to fund the government through December 15th is essential before budget talks on spending and taxes between Congress and the White House can get underway. Those talks will be up against a December 15th deadline for completion, and a looming sequester on January 15th will be a further incentive to deal.

The question of extending WOTC and other expiring tax provisions will be on the table during these talks; thus, the period from October 1st to December 15th will be vital to WOTC’s future and demand an all-out effort by our Coalition. Our thanks for the outpouring of support we’ve been getting.

We enter those talks with support of the President—the result of your Coalition’s efforts over four years to persuade key White House staff in the National Economic Council and OMB to include permanent WOTC in the President’s budget. This occurred for the first time in the fiscal 2014 budget issued in April.

By extension, we will have the support of the Democratic majority of the Senate as well as three experienced negotiators in the House—Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Assistant Leader James Clyburn, and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer. Congressman Charles Rangel, Emeritus Chairman of Ways and Means and lead supporter of WOTC among House Democrats, will be guarding the ramparts.

If the parties reach agreement, our aim is to win permanent authority for WOTC in the bill Congress passes to implement the deal—likely a further Continuing Resolution. If a debt ceiling bill is agreed sooner and negotiations on tax extenders are far along, we will work for WOTC passage on debt ceiling.

If the Parties fail to reach agreement, our aim is persuade House and Senate leaders to pass a tax extenders bill before Congress adjourns for the holidays in December.

Under the Constitution, revenue measures must originate in the House. The House has done its duty to fund the government, passing H.J. Res. 59, “Continuing Appropriations 2014” last Friday.

The Senate is poised to take the first vote Tuesday on a motion by the Majority Leader to end debate (known as “cloture”) and take up the bill. The motion will pass easily, as Republicans say they will join Democrats and Independents in voting to bring up the bill.

The Senate will then be in post-cloture debate—a 30-hour period in which amendments may be offered. Senator Reid, for the majority, will propose an amendment removing the House’s provision defunding Obamacare. Using a longstanding Rule of the Senate, Senator Reid will amend his own amendment, thus blocking any further amendments, and debate will proceed on the H.J. Res. 59 as amended by the Majority Leader.

Nevertheless, Republicans leading the charge for defunding Obamacare may try to tie up the Senate to gain leverage via points of order or delaying tactics.

By Thursday or Friday, Senator Reid should be able to move to end debate and vote on final passage, which will require 60 votes. Senator Cruz and others plan to filibuster this motion and persuade their colleagues to stand together, which will deny Democrats the 60 senators needed to vote on final passage.

When and how this impasse will be resolved is uncertain, but with time running out for returning the bill to the House for passage before midnight September 30th, Senator Reid’s plan is to hold further cloture votes until he wins 60. If he’s successful, the bill will pass.

Democrats are in revolt against the House’s funding levels for 2014, and are railing at the President’s promise to accept them. Senator Reid hasn’t made a decision on amending the House bill to increase funding levels and try to avert sequester—he’s under heavy pressure by his caucus, but knows he’s courting a shutdown if the House returns the bill to the Senate, as time will run out.

PAUL E. SUPLIZIO
President, WOTC Coalition

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