Hatch recounted events that occurred last spring, when Reid stripped extender language from a bill called the Hire Act that was originally the creation of Senate Finance Chairman Max BaucusMax BaucusFive reasons why Tillerson is likely to get through Business groups express support for Branstad nomination The mysterious sealed opioid report fuels speculation MORE (D-Mont.) and his ranking member, Sen. Chuck Grassely (R-Iowa).
Several members from both parties said they supported the Baucus/Grassley measure before Reid removed the extender provisions from the bill because Republicans supported them.
"Practically everyone agrees that these provisions are job creators and both sides wanted to put them in the bill on a bipartisan bases," Hatch said, adding, "He [Reid] inexplicably removed from the bill the expired tax provisions and trashed them as Republican-only initiatives. Thus these tax extenders could have been enacted in March."
Hatch added, "The Democratic leadership demonstrated that it would rather play political games than get these important provisions taken care of."
The extender bill renews provisions like the research and development tax credit many companies deem necessary to stay competitive with foreign counterparts. It also extends tax breaks for individuals, like a deduction for teachers who pay out-of-pocket for school supplies.
The Senate is currently in the process of amending the bill, with an eye on completing work on it by next week. At that point, any changes to the bill must be approved by the House, which will likely further delay the bill's enactment date.