Senate to Begin Debate on Deal to Extend Bush-Era Tax Cuts, House Threatens Not to Consider In Its Current Form
Following two failed votes in the U.S. Senate Saturday to
extend the Bush-era tax cuts only for the middle-class or those making less
than $1 million a year, the White House and GOP Congressional leadership Monday
struck a deal to extend current tax rates for all taxpayers for another two
stimulus provisions sought by the president. The Senate is expected to begin
consideration of the package as early as today, setting the stage for a
potential procedure vote on Saturday, however House Speaker Pelosi today
indicated that she would not bring up the bill for a vote in its current form.
The deal includes extensions of other current tax
measures, the Republicans’ preferred estate tax rate, a 13-month extension of
unemployment benefits, and a one-year reduction in employee payroll taxes for
Social Security. In addition, the
agreement allows for 100 percent expensing for businesses in 2011, applied
retroactively to September 8, 2010, and 50 percent in 2012.
AGC supports the package and will be urging all members
of Congress to vote for the bill. The
vote on the bill may be counted on our legislative scorecard as a “Key Vote.”
While Republicans are largely on board with the deal and are
expected to vote for it, the White House has been working this week to win over
Democratic leadership and rank-and-file members who continue to express
concerns with tax cuts for the wealthy and a more generous estate tax
rate. Still, although a few issues
remain unresolved, such as extensions of other already-expired tax measures, no
significant changes to the deal are likely at this time.
AGC, however, continues to push for an extension of the
Build America Bonds program and removal of water infrastructure investment from
the state volume caps for the Private Activity Bond program. Removal of
water and wastewater projects from the Congressionally-mandated cap on their
volume would free up private money to act as an additional alternative
financing mechanism for water infrastructure construction.
Although not described in the White House’s fact sheet on
the agreement and a source of Democratic fury over the proposal, the White
House did agree to set the estate tax rate at 35 percent and exemption levels
at $5 million for singles and $10 million for couples through 2013.
For more information, contact Karen Lapsevic at
202-547-4733 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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