GOP tax-writers to examine tax extenders

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are interested in both tax reform and in examining the tax extenders. In all, dozens of tax provisions expired at the end of last year, including preferences for research and development, alternative energy and college tuition.

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Earlier this month, Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidDems put immigration front-and-center on convention's first day Dem ad blasts Indiana senate candidate on Social Security Super-PAC targets Portman on trade MORE (D-Nev.) and Sen. Max BaucusMax BaucusGlover Park Group now lobbying for Lyft Wyden unveils business tax proposal College endowments under scrutiny MORE (D-Mont.), the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, pressed for extending the provisions sooner rather than later.

“As we prepare for tax reform, it will be important for us to examine these provisions to determine whether we are getting the most bang for our buck,” Baucus said in a Senate colloquy entered into the Congressional Record. “Tax reform, however, will take time and these provisions have already expired. We should provide certainty to taxpayers by extending them through this year as soon as possible.”

Baucus and Reid were among the Democrats who pressed to include expired provisions in the payroll tax cut extension that Congress enacted last month. With the extenders still lapsed, some Washington observers believe lawmakers will now wait to deal with them until the lame-duck session after November’s election.

For his part, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellProgressive group changes tone on Kaine Trump hits Kaine on TPP: He supports a 'job killer' Clinton maps out first 100 days MORE (R-Ky.), in the colloquy with Baucus and Reid, said that lawmakers had too frequently extended the provisions without any thought, and said GOP senators had some concerns about some of the lapsed preferences.

Doug Shulman, the IRS commissioner, also urged lawmakers on Thursday to act on the extenders one way or the other by the end of the year, to diminish any disturbances on next year’s tax filing season.

—This post was updated at 10:30 a.m. on March 23.