Bipartisan Agreement Reached on Tax Extenders
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Occasionally, Congress surprises us with some useful bipartisanship. The Hill reports that the Senate Finance Committee came to an agreement on extending a group of expired and about-to-be-expired tax provisions:
The Senate Finance Committee will mark up the measure on Thursday, after Democrats and Republicans on the panel met several times this week to reach an agreement on the package.
Under the agreement, a popular credit for research and development would be extended, the Alternative Minimum Tax would be kept from hitting more middle-class families and around a fourth of the targeted provisions would be tossed aside.
Sure, it’s an agreement in one committee. The bill, marked up today, still needs to pass out of the Committee, pass the entire Senate, and then pass the House. But this is real progress in making sure we don’t fall off the fiscal cliff, tax increases and automatic spending cuts set to go into effect in 2013.
In a letter to Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Max Baucus (D-MT), supporting the agreement, Bruce Josten, Executive Vice President for Government Affairs at the U.S. Chamber noted that “much more work remains to be done by this Congress and the Administration. Congress must act expeditiously to extend all of the 2001 and 2003 rates and find spending cuts to replace a sequestration never intended to go into effect.”
Congress and the administration have much to do before we reach the edge of the cliff. However, this is a positive sign that Democrats and Republicans can work together to make sure the economy isn’t threatened by this economic uncertainty.