Lately on the Hill
TikTok has been headlining on the Hill after a four-and-a-half-hour hearing where the House Energy and Commerce Committee questioned TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew about the influence and data access the Chinese government allegedly has over the social media app. The Biden administration is considering banning TikTok in the United States.
In the meantime, Republicans have been quietly preparing to make their opening offer on spending cuts to officially start debt ceiling negotiations. As we get ready for this negotiation to unfold, here is a lineup of the five major Republican groups with influence in the House:
- The Problem Solvers Caucus, led by Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (29 members—includes Democrats and Republicans)
- The Republican Governance Group, led by Rep. David Joyce (42 members)
- The Republican Main Street Caucus, led by Rep. Dusty Johnson (67 members)
- The Republican Study Committee, led by Rep. Kevin Hern (173 members)
- The House Freedom Caucus, led by Rep. Scott Perry (34 members)
The leaders of these groups meet weekly with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy when the House is in session to discuss each group’s take on any bills heading to the floor and on longer-term policy strategy. So far, only the House Freedom Caucus1 and the Republican Study Committee have publicly released their wish lists for spending cuts and what it would take to get their votes on increasing the debt limit.
New Bills Introduced
In other news, here are the latest bills introduced in the House and Senate:
- Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-PA) introduced the USA Workforce Tax Credit Act, which seeks to encourage charitable donations for community-based apprenticeship initiatives, career and technical education, and workforce development. Eligible nonprofits include educational institutions, community organizations, training institutes, community colleges, scholarship groups, and labor union-affiliated nonprofits.
- Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-IL) reintroduced the Health Care Affordability Act, which seeks to make permanent the enhanced premium tax credits that were included in the Inflation Reduction Act but are set to expire in 2025.
- Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) and Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) reintroduced the Electric Bicycle Incentive Kickstart for the Environment (E-BIKE) Act, which would provide a fully refundable tax credit to cover 30% of the cost of an electric bicycle, up to a credit of $1,500. The credit would apply to new electric bikes that cost less than $8,000.
- Rep. Mark Green (R-TN) reintroduced the Bring American Companies Home Act, which proposes to use tariff revenue collected on goods from China to provide a tax incentive to offset moving costs for U.S. companies interested in moving their production from China to the United States.
- Rep. Sean Casten (D-IL) reintroduced the People Over Petroleum Act, which proposes to issue $500 rebates to taxpayers by eliminating tax subsidies available to fossil fuel companies.
- In response to President Joe Biden’s budget proposal, which includes a policy to eliminate stepped-up basis, a group of Republican House members introduced legislation to recognize the importance of stepped-up basis for farmers, ranchers, and small business owners.
- Sens. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) introduced the Coast Guard Combat-Injured Tax Fairness Act, with a technical correction that would fix an error in the Combat-Injured Veterans Tax Fairness Act of 2016 that excludes Coast Guard veterans from a tax benefit that applies to combat-related severance benefits.
- A bipartisan group of senators, led by Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), introduced legislation to end lending to the Chinese Communist Party from multilateral development banks, including the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.
- Sens. Rick Scott (R-FL) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) introduced bipartisan legislation to require a presidentially appointed and Senate-confirmed inspector general to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
- In light of recent events, Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Raphael Warnock (D-GA) are asking regulators to set a temporary moratorium on overdraft and nonsufficient fund fees, and for CEOs of the top ten banks generating the most revenue from these fees to waive them for their customers.
- A group of senators is urging Treasury to use its regulatory authority to “crack down on the ultra-wealthy’s use of trusts to dodge paying their fair share in taxes.” The senators’ letter focuses on tightening rules for grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs), other grantor trusts, and perpetual dynasty trusts.
- President Joe Biden vetoed a bill that attempted to reverse a Labor Department rule that allows money managers to consider climate change and other environmental, social, and governance factors when making decisions on retirement investments for clients. The bill then went back to the House, but Republicans were unable to get to two-thirds majority vote to override the veto. Republicans are working on new legislation to keep this moving forward.
- The IRS issued proposed regulations relating to the excise taxes imposed on certain chemicals and certain imported substances, effective July 1, 2022, e.g., the Superfund chemical taxes.
- As the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) moves forward with implementing a global minimum tax, in their concern of how this will impact American companies, House Republicans are asking the appropriations committee to cut off U.S. funding to the OECD.2
- The Economic Investment Alliance, a coalition that includes the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, AT&T, T-Mobile, and more than a dozen other members, is amping up its campaign to extend tax provisions under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) that have started to phase out or will sunset in 2025.3 However, some members of Congress are saying they want to deal with the debt limit first before addressing tax policies in the TCJA.
- Treasury issued its budget request for fiscal year 2024, totaling $16.3 billion.
- New York winter storm and snowstorm victims now have until May 15, 2023 to file various federal individual and business tax returns and make tax payments.
- The IRS revised its Form 1099-K FAQs.
- The IRS has started to release its 2023 Dirty Dozen list. So far the list includes scammers using fake charities to exploit taxpayers, third-party promoters of false fuel tax credit claims, scammers offering “help” to set up an online account, scammers using email and text messages to try tricking people during tax season, and aggressive promoters of the Employee Retention Credit.
This newsletter features developing content that is subject to change at any time. It does not constitute legal or tax advice. Consult your professional advisors prior to acting on the information set forth herein.