This update from Paul Suplizio, President of the WOTC Coalition, offers some additional details about the fiscal cliff bill passed by the Senate late tonight.
Contrary to my earlier observations, Paul states that the bill DOES include VOW to Hire Hero provisions in its extension of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit. Hopefully, I was wrong. I like Paul’s version better.
Paul also makes some important observations about recent Hurricane Sandy relief efforts — including a proposal to expand the WOTC Program with a new Hurricane Sandy target group.
The following is published here with permission (emphasis is from the original).
From: Paul Suplizio
Sent: Tuesday, January 1, 2013 1:18 AM
Subject: Senate Passes Fiscal Cliff Bill With WOTC And Other Extenders
January 1, 2013 3:00 AM EDT
The Senate passed the fiscal cliff bill, H.R. 8, a little after 2:00 AM this morning, by a vote of 89-8.
Republicans swarmed Senator McConnell to congratulate him, and Senator Reid added his appreciation as well. McConnell notably made the point that 99% of citizens of Kentucky won’t see their taxes go up this year (he didn’t mention payroll tax relief was allowed to expire, so every worker will get less in his or her pay check.)
Democrats claimed victory for winning tax hikes and renewal of several of the President’s signature programs (American Opportunity Act, Child Tax Credit, EITC expansion), apparently enough in the deal to satisfy most everyone—the mark of a good compromise.
The bill contains a retroactive WOTC extension through December 31st, 2013. The bill also extends retroactively through 2013 all other extenders of the bi-partisan Baucus/Hatch bill, S. 3521, that all of us worked so hard for last July and August.
Tax code provisions expiring yesterday were also continued for the coming year.
Importantly related to WOTC and extended through 2013 are empowerment zones, Indian employment tax credit, employer child care tax credit, and WOTC veterans provisions enacted in the VOW Act.
The House will take up the bill tomorrow, along with Hurricane Sandy relief, and senators are remaining in town to vote on any House amendments.
Republicans voting against the fiscal cliff deal were Lee, Paul, Shelby, Rubio, and Grassley. Democrats against were Bennett of Colorado, Harkin, and Carper.
There are many reasons for this success, but basically, thanks to your efforts, our friends including the White House held firm for the tax extenders and never flinched. This wasn’t easy, for the $70 billion cost had to be offset, and this could only be achieved by reducing the nearly one trillion in new revenue resulting from the higher tax rates in the bill.
Unemployment compensation, Medicare doctors’ payments, and a farm bill extension (to avert a leap in milk price) were also included in the bill.
For the first time in more than three decades, AMT relief was made permanent and will not have to undergo annual extension in the future.
Happy New Year and many thanks to all, however it’s still too early to break out the champagne!
Note: We’ve been trying to put into the Hurricane Sandy relief bill a WOTC credit like Katrina. However, Leader Reid’s decision was to keep the Senate bill “clean,” that is, dealing only with appropriations for relief, not tax cuts. The Sandy bill passed by the Senate is unacceptable to the House, which is scheduled to pass an amendment with far less money, but possibly with tax relief, tomorrow. If that occurs, the bill is expected to come back to the Senate where we may have a chance of pressing for Katrina-like tax relief.
PAUL E. SUPLIZIO
President, WOTC Coalition