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Grassley Likely to Release Tax Extender Bill This Week

Feb. 26, 2019, 10:29 PM

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley is expected to release legislation this week that would renew temporary tax breaks called extenders, a Republican aide said.

The bill would also include tax relief for disaster-hit areas, according to two lobbyists familiar with discussions who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Grassley, an Iowa Republican, in recent weeks has talked about introducing tax extenders legislation as a marker of his stance. All tax bills have to originate in the House, meaning that the Grassley bill would just signify his interest in the measure.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) hasn’t revealed his plans for the breaks, but some committee Democrats have talked about having a hearing on the issue.

The release of the Grassley bill would come as pressure builds from the industry to renew the breaks, many of which expired at the end of 2017. Congress would have to renew the provisions retroactively for businesses to claim them on their 2018 returns. These breaks are typically renewed by lawmakers every few years and generally garner bipartisan support.

The tax breaks include a railroad maintenance credit and a tax break for biofuels. The House passed legislation to extend these breaks at the end of 2018 and provide tax relief to areas hit by disasters, but the Senate failed to act on them before the end of the last Congress.

The prospects for these tax breaks in the House are also clouded by rules that require the chamber to find spending cuts or revenue increases to offset legislation that would otherwise increase the deficit.

Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) said Feb. 26 the House would likely have to waive the rules in order to pass extenders. A Ways and Means aide also previously said the pay-as-you-go rules could be waived depending on the circumstance.

Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.), a member of Ways and Means, has previously said the tax breaks should be paid for.

To contact the reporters on this story: Kaustuv Basu in Washington at kbasu@bloombergtax.com; Allyson Versprille in Washington at aversprille@bloombergtax.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Patrick Ambrosio at pambrosio@bloombergtax.com; Colleen Murphy at cmurphy@bloombergtax.com

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