Speaker of the US House of Representatives, John Boehner (R-Ohio) has recently repeated his vow to make comprehensive tax reform a top priority of the new Congress this year. Symbolic of that end, Speaker Boehner has reserved the designation of House Resolution 1 (HR 1) for the coming tax reform bill.
“Fixing our tax code is one of my highest legislative priorities for this Congress . It’s time we shift the balance of power from the tax collector to the taxpayer.” Read more at The Hill, “Boehner: Tax reform to be H.R. 1.”
Paul Suplizio, President of the WOTC Coalition, made the observation today that given this priority, supporters of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit and other jobs-related incentives will soon face a political challenge that could easily turn against them.
“Integral to tax reform will be decisions on retaining many tax provisions that expire at year-end, including WOTC and VOW Act veterans job incentives.”
“We’ve stressed in the past that our Coalition will have to work harder than ever to keep WOTC alive when the House takes up tax reform, as the odds right now are against our winning a favorable verdict in the Ways and Means Committee.”
The remainder of Mr. Suplizio’s observations today are published here with permission.
Subject: President And Leaders Agree To Avoid Shutdown, Boehner Sets Course For Tax Reform
From: Paul Suplizio
Date: Fri, March 01, 2013 6:10 pm
March 1, 2013
The President and Congressional leaders didn’t resolve the sequester in their meeting today, but they did reach agreement to pass a bill funding the government for the rest of 2013, averting a government shutdown.
Both sides agreed to a measure adhering to the $1.043 trillion cap set for FY 2013 discretionary spending by the Budget Control Act of 2011, and not dealing with sequester or taxes.
The bill will more likely be a Continuing Resolution along the lines of Appropriations Chairman Rogers’ proposal in the House, which includes assured funding levels for Defense and Veterans Administration.
The President acknowledged across-the-board sequester cuts would be taken from the $1.043 trillion Continuing Resolution, so long as the sequester remains in effect.
Funding the government in an orderly manner and avoiding a shutdown means the question of mitigating the sequester remains on the table. The parties are deadlocked but channels are open—whether they’ll be used depends on who feels the most heat.
The heat’s already rising. At a press conference today, Chairman “Buck” McKeon of the House Armed Services Committee, surrounded by his subcommittee chairman, attacked the President for not forestalling the sequester, punishing service men and women. He admitted though, he had voted for sequester in 2011—not expecting the Super Committee would fail and it would come to pass.
The President’s budget for 2014 will be released in a few days, followed by House and Senate budgets next month. If the sequester is still in effect then, it will be absorbed in the struggle of dueling budgets, from which will emerge this year’s major tax and spending bills.
Two days ago Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp won a decision from Speaker Boehner to report a tax reform bill, whose broad outlines will be set by the coming Ryan budget. The Speaker’s courageous decision was taken despite fears of many Republicans that taking votes to eliminate or cap popular deductions and credits could hurt them.
Integral to tax reform will be decisions on retaining many tax provisions that expire at year-end, including WOTC and VOW Act veterans job incentives. You can read the long list of expiring provisions at the Joint Committee on Taxation’s web site, http://www.jct.gov, in JCX-3-13, “List of Expiring Federal Tax Provisions, 2013-2023.”
We’ve stressed in the past that our Coalition will have to work harder than ever to keep WOTC alive when the House takes up tax reform, as the odds right now are against our winning a favorable verdict in the Ways and Means Committee. Thanks to allies like Senators Baucus and Finance Committee Democrats, we may prevail in the Senate, but once the Senate goes to conference with the House to resolve their differing bills, the game can turn on a whim. We once lost the entire target group of disadvantaged youth in conference because a tobacco-state senator insisted on an excise tax cut—those jobs paid for his cut!
PAUL E. SUPLIZIO
President, WOTC Coalition