Senate Likely to Take Up Tax Extenders Later This Year
Last Tuesday, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) released three reports containing summaries of the work conducted by three of six bipartisan taskforces that were charged with examining temporary tax provisions that expired, or will expire, between December 31, 2017 and December 31, 2019. This included reports from the taskforces on energy, cost recovery and individual provisions.
Summary reports for the taskforces on health, workforce and community development, and natural disasters are still being finalized and will be released by the Senate Finance Committee in the coming days.
According to Chairman Grassley, the next step in the process will be to put together a legislative package based on the proposals that the taskforces received, the areas of consensus among the taskforce members, and continued bipartisan discussions.
It’s expected that the Senate Finance Committee will consider its own version of tax extenders in September instead of taking up the tax package approved by the House Ways and Means Committee in June.
Trump Administration Delays Chinese Tariffs on Certain List Four Imports
Last week, President Donald Trump announced his administration would delay the 10% tariff for certain Chinese imports included on “List 4” until December 15, 2019. List 4, which includes $300 billion worth of Chinese goods, was scheduled to go into effect on September 1, 2019. Most of the products subject to the tariff delay are popular holiday gifts such as cellphones, laptop computers, video game consoles, toys, computer monitors, and shoes and clothing.
The full list of goods subject to the December 15, 2019 delay can be found here. Products still subject to the September 1, 2019 implementation date can be found here.
This tariff delay comes in the wake of recent retaliatory actions by the Chinese government in response to the Trump Administration’s announcement of List 4 tariffs on August 1. These retaliatory actions include letting its yuan currency weaken against the dollar as well as cancelling multi-billion purchases of U.S. agricultural products. In addition, Chinese regulators are threatening to place American companies on an “unreliable entities” list that could curb their operations.
U.S. and Chinese government officials are scheduled to meet in Washington D.C. for another round of trade negotiations in September.
House of Representatives Votes to Repeal Cadillac Tax
Recently, the House passed H.R. 748, the Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act, which would permanently repeal the so-called “Cadillac Tax” included in the Affordable Care Act. The Cadillac Tax is a 40% excise tax on the most expensive employer-sponsored health insurance plans, those worth about $11,200 for individuals and $30,100 for families. It is scheduled to go into effect in 2022.
The bill passed by a sizeable margin of 419-6 on the House floor and should get serious consideration in the Senate.
House of Representatives Passes Minimum Wage Bill
Recently, the House passed H.R. 748, the Raise Wage Act, which would raise the federal minimum from $7.25 to $15 by 2025. The bill would index future increases in the federal minimum wage to median wage growth and would phase out the subminimum wage for youth workers and individuals with disabilities. The legislation is not likely to receive a vote on the Senate floor.