A precarious moment has arrived for extending the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) and other tax extenders. Republican leadership has expressed their general opposition to the $200 billion in “stimulus” included in President Obama’s budgetary demands. The Republican leadership has not specifically mentioned the $40 billion in tax extenders BUT the extenders (including WOTC) are part of the larger $200 billion stimulus package.
During the next few days, many Republican House members will be visiting their home districts. As Paul Suplizio, President of the WOTC Coalition exhorts in his most recent correspondence to WOTC Coalition members, now is the time to contact your Republican Representative and urge him or her to support the extenders.
The following is published here with permission.
From: Paul Suplizio
Sent: Wednesday, December 5, 2012 1:41 PM
Subject: Action Required For WOTC As House Adjourns Until Tuesday, Dec 11
December 5, 2012
Most House members will be in their districts from Thursday, Dec 6th until Tuesday, December 11th as Speaker Boehner sent members home today after a contentious meeting with his caucus on fiscal cliff negotiations. This is an important break enabling all of us represented by a Republican congressman to call his or her office for a meeting to urge the importance of including a WOTC extension in any fiscal cliff deal with the President. While a meeting may not be opportune, you may at least be able to get our message through to the congressman by phone. Congressmen do not have to return to Washington until 6:30 PM this coming Tuesday.
Here is a wrap-up of developments. The President and Speaker have spent the past two days talking to governors and high-level business leaders whose message is, “Make a decision and make it soon—the uncertainty is brutal!”
Republicans are divided over the offer made by their leaders—not only the Speaker and Majority Leader but their Vice Presidential nominee Congressman Ryan—to raise $800 billion in tax revenue by capping tax credits and deductions, while not raising tax rates. Speaker Boehner has made no bones about his going into a tough negotiation and he wants backing for whatever deal he brings back. He’s stripped four Republicans of choice committee assignments for not backing the Party when they don’t get their way.
Things are shaping up as follows. Both parties are ready to “make a down payment on deficit reduction” and defer a longer-run plan for fiscal stability to next year.
What would a “down payment” deal consist of?
The President is sticking by his demand to raise tax rates on top earners—he’s willing to negotiate how much the rates increase. The President’s proposed tax hikes on capital gains, dividends, and estates would be part of the negotiation.
On spending, the President is ready to make cuts in entitlement programs and discretionary spending. Republicans say these cuts ought to be twice the amount the President has offered ($1.2 trillion rather than $600 billion) but Republicans haven’t specified where they would cut. The President’s cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are in his FY 2013 budget, and that’s his starting point.
The President today made raising the debt ceiling part of his bottom line demands, saying a renewed struggle would be a “catastrophe” for the markets, threatening the full faith and credit of the government. This is bound to be negotiated.
What about the $200 billion in “stimulus” measures for 2013 that the President has made part of his demands? This package includes renewal of WOTC and other tax extenders, payroll tax relief, extended unemployment compensation, AMT relief, “doc” fix, extensions of the child tax credit and improvements in the earned income tax credit—all are negotiable and will either be included in the deal or carried over.
The $200 billion revenue loss lowers the total amount of deficit reduction in any deal, and House leaders have expressed opposition to this in their letter-offer. The position of the House on $40 billion package of tax extenders is what we are trying to turn around in our lobbying, so we continue to exhort you to contact Republican congressman and urge him to ask his or her leaders to support extension of WOTC and other expired or expiring tax provisions in negotiations with the White House.
WOTC and other extenders must be in the deal where the revenue loss will be offset by spending cuts, complying with the PAYGO law while keeping the tax-writing committees from having to raise revenues that could hurt members of our Coalition.
At this point, what we know for certain is all the extenders are negotiable and at some point in the next week or so, serious talks will begin on whether to include them or not. The talks may continue till the last minute, but that means we have only this week and next—at most—to persuade House leaders to take the President’s offer on WOTC and the tax extenders.
Therefore the task before us is clear: we ought not slacken, but let’s re-double our efforts to connect with Republican congressmen, as they are the best conduits to Speaker Boehner and other House leaders to persuade them of the political importance of including WOTC and the tax extenders in a fiscal cliff deal with the White House. You must get your Republican congressman to commit to contacting Speaker Boehner and other leaders with this message.
Many thanks to all for your hard work and commitment to the campaign. I can be reached at 703-587-4566.
PAUL E. SUPLIZIO
President, WOTC Coalition