Mike & Co. —
House and Senate budget negotiators said tonight they are near final terms on text of legislation covering the FY 2016 budget, the extenders, and more. Before midnight, they hope they can release the draft bill, negotiated quietly but relentlessly for five days now, and proceed to votes on Thursday.
More on the main terms of the emerging deal below. Additional details to follow.
It is must-pass legislation par excellence. But the politics of the emerging “megabus” – the combined omnibus FY 2016 spending plan and the tax break extension package is paradoxical. Many in the GOP are reluctant to support the omnibus because it is the result of an earlier deal to increase spending over the next two years. House Democratic leaders, meanwhile, oppose the tax package because they argue it doesn’t do enough for lower-income workers and would make it more difficult to strike a tax reform agreement in the future by making breaks for businesses appear less expensive than those for middle- and low-income taxpayers.
Rep. Tim Huelskamp, a member of the hard-line House Freedom Caucus, has already predicted that most Republicans would not support the omnibus spending bill. So it will take Democratic votes to pass, which is also why it took five days to work out.
The product looks to be a thousand-page package of year-end legislation featuring:
- The FY 2016 Budget — a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending measure with plenty of policy proposals
- The Tax Extenders Package— a tax measure including about $750 billion in tax breaks for businesses and low-income individuals.
ACA/Cadillac Tax — There is tentative agreement to alter major provisions of the Affordable Care Act, delaying a planned tax on high-cost health insurance plans
Medical Device Tax — Under the tentative agreement, the device tax, which took effect in 2013, would be suspended in 2016 and 2017,
US Crude Export Ban — It would lift the 40-year ban on crude oil exports from the United States. In exchange, Republicans agreed to extend a series of expired or expiring renewable energy tax breaks. Both the wind production tax credit and the solar investment tax credit won five-year extensions in the tax and spending packag
The Extenders — The emerging agreement would permanently extend a popular business tax credit for research, one of many tax breaks that have been repeatedly renewed on a temporary basis. It would also continue a tax deduction for teachers who spend their own money for books, supplies and computer equipment used in the classroom, and a separate deduction for state and local sales taxes.
The deal would permanently extend several tax provisions and reauthorize dozens more retroactively for one year and then extend them through 2016, setting up another tax debate at the end of next year.
Zadroga Coda — The bill would include the reauthorization and expansion of aid for emergency workers suffering from ailments related to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York City to the tune of $4.6 billion for a victims compensation fund and an extension of health benefits through 2090, essentially making the program permanent.
Loose End Outstanding — Democrats are still pressing for money for ocean conservation in exchange for agreement to lift the ban on crude oil exports