US Senators worked late into the wee hours tonight. Sometime after 2:00 AM Eastern, they finally passed the Senate’s compromise bill to avert the fiscal cliff. They are calling it the “American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.” Read about it on CNN Politics.
The bill now faces an uncertain response from the House of Representatives.
Now that my kids are in bed and the new years eve celebration is over, I took a few minutes to review the bill as passed by the Senate.
For starters, it does include very simple extensions of WOTC, Empowerment Zones, and the Indian Employment Credit. By simple, I mean it simply replaces the expiration dates in the existing legislation — and thus extends the programs retroactively from January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2013.
The bill also includes a renewal of the research and development credit with some modifications.
What I did NOT find was any mention of the now expired VOW to Hire Heroes legislation. Nor did I find any mention of disconnected youth. So, if my quick read of the legislation is accurate, these former elements of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit program will need to be address separately after the legislative smoke clears and some of the dust settles. At least, we hope they will be addressed.
All eyes now turn to the House of Representatives. Will the House deal with this bill in a timely manner? And if it does, will House members actually pass it?
We are down to mere hours now before the current Congressional term ends. At that point, if the bill has not been passed by the House, it will come unglued and its parts will be passed over the wall to the next Congress.
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