WOTC Update – Two Bills Present Current Opportunities for Extension

Paul Suplizio, President of the WOTC Coalition has been keeping us up to date on hour to hour developments.  Without further comment, I’m posting his update from early today.  If you support renewal of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, now is the time to exert your influence with your Senators.
The following is published here with permission.
Subject: Senator Reid Introduces Emergency Unemployment Bill That Could Be Vehicle For Passing WOTC
From: “Paul Suplizio” <wotc@cox.net>
Date: Wed, December 18, 2013 1:28 am
December 18, 2013
Yesterday Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid introduced S.1845, the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act, that could be a vehicle for extending WOTC. We don’t know Senator Reid’s plan for taking up the bill, but he’s begun the floor process to call it up.
Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus still has before him our request to make an effort to pass a nine-month extension of WOTC by unanimous consent. We know he’s been briefed on this, but we’ve received no reply from the Senator yet. (A UC request isn’t just a matter of taking the floor and making the request—a lot of clearance with both Leaders and other senators is important to succeed.)
This means Senator Baucus now has two bills he can amend with a WOTC extension if and when they come to the floor—the short-term “doc fix” bill and the just-introduced emergency compensation bill.
Iowa Senator Tom Harkin chairs the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee and is a strong advocate for people with disabilities. Through the HELP Committee staff, we’ve asked Senator Harkin to encourage and support Senator Baucus’ efforts.
Monday and Tuesday, we pressed the Armed Services Committee staff to look into amending the National Security Authorization Act to prevent WOTC from expiring because WOTC includes the “Returning Heroes and Wounded Warriors Work Opportunity Credits” of Public Law 112-56, the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, which charges the Department of Defense with informing service men and women being discharged of their entitlement to employment services, including WOTC.
Regrettably, our effort to include a one-year WOTC extension in the National Security bill was stymied by Senator Reid’s decision, because of the importance of the bill, to pass it as received from the House, without amendments. Our attempt did have the positive effect of alerting more senators to our last-minute campaign for WOTC.
We followed up by asking Senator Bernard Sanders, chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, to join with Senator Baucus and Senator Reid in getting action on WOTC. Senator Patty Murray, who scored a big success yesterday when the Senate passed her Bi-Partisan Budget Act, was chairperson of Veterans Affairs when the VOW tax credits were enacted and worked with Senator Baucus to pass them, so we urged Senator Murray to support Senator Baucus as well.
At the same time, we reached out to Senator Richard Burr who is the ranking Republican on the Veterans Affairs Committee, as well as to Senators Reid and McConnell, regarding WOTC’s importance to veterans. A copy of our letter to Senator Sanders, sent with copies to Senators Murray, Burr, Baucus and other senators, is attached.
We will keep you informed.
President, WOTC Coalition

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