Lawmakers discuss extending expired tax breaks in spending bill

Lawmakers discuss extending expired tax breaks in spending bill
© Greg Nash

Lawmakers are discussing the possibility of extending expired tax breaks in future spending legislation.

A number of tax provisions, including some relating to renewable energy, motorsports and horse racing, expired at the end of 2016 and were not addressed in the sweeping tax-cut law Congress passed in December. Senators have expressed an interest in renewing the expired provisions, known as "tax extenders."

Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyPresident tightens grip on federal watchdogs Officials sound alarm over virus relief check scams Trump takes heat for firing intel watchdog during pandemic MORE (R-Iowa), a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee, said Tuesday he thinks Congress has to renew the extenders in either a stopgap spending bill lawmakers consider this week or in an omnibus spending bill down the line.


House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyOfficials sound alarm over virus relief check scams Mnuchin says Social Security recipients will automatically get coronavirus checks Pelosi not invited by Trump to White House coronavirus relief bill's signing MORE (R-Texas) said he's having conversations with Senate tax-writers about adding extensions of the expired tax breaks to the stopgap bill, but said "no agreement's been reached yet and [there's] no guarantee that will be included in the final product." 

Brady said he's "not a fan of extenders" but that "each of those provisions has an industry that's tied strongly to it, as well as members of Congress who advocate for it."

Rep. Vern BuchananVernon Gale BuchananMORE (R-Fla.), chairman of the Ways and Means Committee's tax policy panel, said the committee plans to hold hearings on extenders going forward. He said lawmakers need to "take a hard" look at whether it makes sense to continue the tax breaks given the large tax cuts businesses received in the new law.

Groups backed by wealthy GOP donors Charles and David Koch have been urging Congress not to renew the extenders.

“The entire point of tax reform was to get rid of ridiculous carve outs and subsidies that only benefit the industry that’s lobbying for them," said Freedom Partners Executive Vice President Nathan Nascimento in a statement. "The last thing Congress should do is undermine this historic step forward by reviving billions of dollars in corporate welfare so special interests can continue to profit off of taxpayers."