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New Tax Extender Talk

POLITICO’s “Morning Tax” has a pair of updates on tax extender legislation:

Lots happening on the tax extenders front, at least rhetorically. Pro Tax’s Katy O’Donnell reports the Senate Finance Committee could mark up a two-year catch-all extenders package as early as next week, according to aides and lobbyists. Over on the House side, Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan renewed his pitch for early action on the issue to avoid another end-of-year rush like the one last year that forced Congress to renew expired tax cuts for just a few weeks. “I would love nothing more than to come back from the August recess with a plan in place to enact in September,” Ryan said during a POLITICO breakfast, adding that he would like to make some extenders permanent. On the last point, even though Democrats generally oppose making some routinely extended breaks permanent, several signed on to legislation that would indefinitely extend an expired tax deduction for teachers who buy school supplies with their own money.

However, since tax extenders are generally supported by everyone, they are easily used as leverage to get something else done too. That dynamic doesn’t lend itself to speedy resolution.

A CCH report confirms that the Senate Finance Committee may be looking at extenders soon, but also quotes committee Chairman Hatch as saying, “There’s no urgency on that…”:

Over 50 tax credits and deductions commonly referred to as extenders could be marked up as soon as the end of July, but Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, said there might not be enough time to reach that goal despite his desire to do so. “There’s no urgency on that as far as I’m concerned,” Hatch told reporters on July 9. “I’m not saying were going to do it by the end of July. I’m just saying its likely we could.”

Part of the problem, according to Hatch, lies in the Senate schedule and the demands of other legislative priorities, especially an extension of the Highway Trust Fund, all of which will keep Hatch busy on the Senate floor. Despite his interest in holding an extenders markup in the near future, he admitted that the timing is hard to nail down. “It’s difficult to bring the committee together. We’ll see,” he said. “We have so many pressure packs on our plate on this committee that it’s not going to be easy no matter what we do.”

At the same time, Hatch said he has contemplated holding a markup during the week beginning July 13. “Well we’re certainly looking at it,” he noted. But that seems highly unlikely as committee members John Cornyn, R-Tex., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said they have heard of no plans to hold a markup during the coming week.

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