OVERNIGHT MONEY: Tax extenders up in Ways and Means

TUESDAY'S BIG STORY:  

Another push: House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.), seeking to give tax reform one big last push before he heads for the exits, began his examination of a slew of expired and expiring on tax breaks on Tuesday.

The Ways and Means panel will specifically look at the so-called tax extenders for business that Camp kept in the broad tax reform draft he released in February.

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Camp has said that, through the spring and into the summer, he wants to dig deeper into which expired provisions should be kept for good and which should be allowed to stay dead. The research and development credit and the Section 179 deduction for business expenses are expected to be among the first provisions to get a serious look in that effort.

Camp announced his retirement last week, after failing to gain traction for his years-long efforts to rewrite the tax code.

But the Michigan Republican has also made clear that he thinks a more permanent solution for the tax extenders could get the ball rolling on tax reform — at least in part because extending some of those provisions long-term would make the math easier for revamping the code.

Still, there's a long way to go before the lame-duck session after November's elections, when most tax observers expect final congressional action on an extenders package this year.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) has decided to take a more traditional path on the provisions, pushing legislation through his committee last week that would extend almost all of the expired incentives through 2015. 

 

WHAT ELSE WE'RE WATCHING

In opposition: The White House said Monday that it opposes two budget-process bills the House is set to consider this week.

One bill would no longer allow the baseline budget to grow over time to assume higher costs. The change to the budget baseline would tend to favor cutting spending.

The second would change how the government counts the revenue and liabilities of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

"The Administration opposes H.R. 1871 and H.R. 1872, both of which would make the budgeting process less transparent and less accurate," said Office of Management and Budget spokesman Steve Posner. 

"Under the Baseline Reform Act, the baseline would instead assume a steady deterioration in programs' purchasing power," he added. "The Administration also has serious concerns about the requirement to include revenue and outlays of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in budget totals, especially while they are under temporary conservatorship."

Making choices: The House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday will look at the effects of regulations on consumer choices and the overall economy.

Tax prep: IRS Commissioner John Koskinen will appear on Tuesday before the Senate Finance Committee to discuss his agency’s efforts to better regulate paid tax preparers and ensure consumers are treated fairly in the process. 

Duplicate programs: The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Tuesday will discuss Government Accountability Office's report on duplicate federal programs. 

Getting back to budgets: Don’t be surprised if you see — seriously — House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and a senior administration official on the same side Tuesday.

Issa has taken great pride in being a thorn in President Obama’s side in areas like "Fast and Furious," Benghazi and the IRS. But when it comes to revamping the U.S. Postal Service, the White House in many ways agrees more with Issa than with congressional Democrats and their labor allies.

Brian Deese, Obama’s deputy budget director, will testify about cost-cutting changes the administration proposed in its latest budget, like paring back Saturday delivery and centralizing delivery locations.

Issa included similar proposals in the postal reform bill his committee passed last summer, a measure that was unanimously opposed by the panel’s Democrats.

“While my Democratic colleagues on the Committee have yet to embrace specific cost-cutting reforms, I’m pleased that the President has proposed changes that will help get the USPS back on the path to solvency, and that the White House recognizes that the agency must cut costs,” he said in a statement on Monday  

Nomination time: The Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday will sit down to talk with Nani Coloretti about her nomination to serve as deputy secretary of the Housing and Urban Development Department.

More nominations: The Senate Agriculture Committee is expected to move forward on a trio who would join the Commodity Futures Trading Commission on Tuesday. Among those nominees is Tim Massad, who take over the top slot and lead the Wall Street watchdog.

Spending priorities: House appropriators are continuing their slog through top spending priorities for fiscal 2015 on Tuesday and will chat with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and General Services Administration Administrator Dan Tangherlini. 

U.S. Agency for International Development Rajiv Shah will be on the move Tuesday, as he is scheduled to testify before House and Senate appropriators. 

Also on the Senate side, Secretary of State John Kerry will talk to the Foreign Relations Committee about top priorities for the international affairs budget.

Senate appropriators also will talk to Architect of the Capitol Stephen Ayers, Librarian of Congress James Billington and John O'Keefe, executive director of the Open World Leadership Center, about their budgets. 

Tax code focus: The Senate Budget Committee will chat on Tuesday with several experts about ways to change the tax code that is fairer to taxpayers and boosts economic growth.

Ex-Im Bank role: Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, will hold a panel discussion on reauthorization and the role of the Export-Import Bank.

The event will be attended by lawmakers, including House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (Md.) and Fred Hochberg, head of the Ex-Im Bank, among others. 

 

LOOSE CHANGE

Quiz time: Quizzes are all the rage, so why not try your hand at another short one — this one by the American Action Forum — to test your knowledge of the financial services industry. 

 

ECONOMIC INDICATORS 

JOLTS: The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) for July evaluates the labor market's data on job openings, hires and separations.

NFIB Survey: The National Federation of Independent Business will release its April economic survey examining how business owners are feeling about economic conditions and how that is affecting their hiring, investment and expansion plans. 

 

WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED

— Issa questions financial regulatory research

— Court: Feds can punish hacked companies

— WH says its gender pay gap 'better than the national average'

— Ways and Means to consider referring Lerner for charges

— House Democrats release alternative to Ryan budget

— Dems try to tie immigration to Ryan budget

— Women’s group: Obama equality orders based on ‘victim class’ mentality

— GOP report: IRS singled out Tea Party

— Housing sector improving across metro markets

— Schumer: Attacks on Koch brothers will work

 

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