Efforts to date have failed to include an extension of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) in any doc-fix legislation. The Senate Finance committee has turned away efforts to include WOTC in the proposed doc-fix reform bill. While the reform bill awaits further revision, it will not be voted on until 2014. In the mean time, a temporary doc-fix patch-up measure is expected to pass this week.
Senator Max Baucus, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee has so far insisted on keeping the patch-up measure clean also, meaning no other tax-extender provisions will be included. According to Paul Suplizio, President of the WOTC Coalition, it’s important that WOTC supporters change his mind about this before the vote this week.
“This will be the last bill to pass before adjournment–to fail to include WOTC is almost inevitably to consign it to expire all of next year, and it will be the middle of 2015 when the new Congress gets around to restoring it.”
“For the remainder of the week we should continue emphasizing to our Democratic senators, ‘Please talk to Senator Reid and urge him to get together with Senator McConnell to find a way to pass a WOTC extension for next year.’ ”
“Say to Republican senators, ‘Please ask Senator McConnell to get together with Senator Reid and work to find a way to pass WOTC for next year.’ ”
Here is the latest report from the WOTC Coalition’s President Paul Suplizio. The following is published here with permission.
From: “Paul Suplizio” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, December 09, 2013 8:32 pm
Subject: WOTC’s Extension Rests With Senate Leaders Reid And McConnell
December 9, 2013
Thanks to all who have responded to our call not to give up the fight but press the Senate Finance Committee to report a bill extending WOTC for a year. We made our case, lobbied the most powerful senators on the committee, and I must now report the Finance Committee isn’t going to help so we must move on.
Let’s review where we are.
The Finance Committee is set to give the nod to two bills on Wednesday. The first is a permanent reform of the doc fix system which the chairman wants to keep focused on health and not on taxes. But every senator is aware that permanent doc fix still has problems requiring further negotiations, so it’s not going to be voted on till next year. We have no interest in it.
But there will be a second, short-term doc fix bill—a one line measure that will simply extend current law for 90 days or so, and to us, that bill is a pure extender bill that the Senate will pass by Friday. This is the bill we lobbied last week to get a WOTC extension into, because keeping WOTC alive for even the next 90 days will much improve the odds of staying alive for the rest of the year.
Nevertheless, Senator Baucus seems to have decided to keep this second bill clean too, no doubt to improve its chance of passage. Our message to him has been it’s an extenders bill nonetheless and WOTC has long had bi-partisan support to keep the nation’s promise to veterans, young people with disabilities seeking work, four million long-term unemployed on food stamps, and seven million youth in families receiving food stamps who are out of school and out of work. Consider, this will be the last bill to pass before adjournment–to fail to include WOTC is almost inevitably to consign it to expire all of next year, and it will be the middle of 2015 when the new Congress gets around to restoring it. What that means is assuredly nearly a million jobs lost for those with the highest unemployment rates, whom WOTC is aimed to help.
We haven’t succeeded in Finance so we must leave that fight behind—there are still four days left in the session and, as we said in our last report, the senators of both Parties will hold their regular weekly policy luncheons today, Tuesday, December 10th. The purpose of the meetings, at this moment, is to give every senator a chance to speak to the legislative priorities for the remainder of the session.
In our last report, we asked you to contact every senator, Democrat and Republican, and ask him or her to raise the issue of the impact on a million citizens, including thousands of veterans leaving service next year, of failing to renew WOTC, and ask their leaders to work together to find a way to pass a WOTC before the Senate leaves for the holidays. They can do it on the short-term doc fix bill if they have the will.
For the remainder of the week we should continue emphasizing to our Democratic senators, “Please talk to Senator Reid and urge him to get together with Senator McConnell to find a way to pass a WOTC extension for next year.” Say to Republican senators, “Please ask Senator McConnell to get together with Senator Reid and work to find a way to pass WOTC for next year.”
We’ve gotten the attention of several powerful senators with our lobbying of the Finance Committee last week, we’ll have good momentum going into January when the spending bill to fund the government will come up. But for now, the only thing in our sights should be the two Senate leaders who can get the job done if they want to.
Again, thanks to all who have plunged into this fight wholeheartedly last week. Your efforts won support for WOTC from important Republican senators like Senator Portman of Ohio, Senator Roberts of Kansas, and Senator Burr of North Carolina, and remember, the Democratic members of the Finance Committee, including Chairman Baucus, remain WOTC supporters and will return to the fold. Again, thank you.
PAUL E. SUPLIZIO
President, WOTC Coalition