If you’ve been following the news during the past few days, you might be aware that Congressional leaders are sparring over legislation to extend the existing payroll tax cut. Over the weekend, the Senate rejected the House’s proposal and responded with a proposed 2-month extension, obviously intended to buy time for further negotiations.
Neither version of the legislation included WOTC nor other sought after tax-extenders. This is not, however, the end of the game.
The limited 2-month extension is not looked upon favorably by the House Republican leadership, which is demanding a full year. The House is scheduled to vote on the bill this evening.
According to Bloomberg,
With the House set to return to Washington [Monday], Republican leaders are studying their options, Laena Fallon, a spokeswoman for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a Virginia Republican, said in an e-mail.
When the House meets [Monday evening], it will either vote to amend the Senate-passed measure “so that it is responsible and in line with the needs of hard-working taxpayers and middle class families” or vote to appoint representatives to a House-Senate conference to reconcile differences between the two chambers, she said.
Got that? The House will either amend the Senate bill and return it. Or it will vote to appoint a conference with the Senate to negotiate revisions. If the House does call for a conference, the Senate leadership (aka Senator Harry Reid) could accept or reject it. But rejecting it in that case would result in a tax increase on January 1 as the payroll tax reduction expires. Not a pretty political sight.
If a conference is called, Paul Suplizio, President of the WOTC Coalition sees still another opportunity to get WOTC and other tax extenders passed this year.
“If it gets to a conference, Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp of Michigan would be one of the conferees for the House (he was floor manager for the House bill) and Finance Chairman Max Baucus of Montana a likely conferee for the Senate.”
“Chairman Camp has been the target of much of our lobbying and knows the situation of WOTC and the extenders. Senator Baucus has been a champion for including WOTC and the other extenders in the payroll bill.”
If you have any opportunity to encourage Representative Dave Camp or Senator Max Baucus, now is the time. Senator Harry Reid and his friends in the Whitehouse should also be contacted. Senator Reid will likely require encouragement from the Whitehouse to include WOTC and other tax extenders in any negotiated resolution to this legislative conflict.