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TAX TAKE: Making Pending Bill Changes by (Imperial) March

Tax Alert

Hopes for quick Senate action on the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024 have been fading as attention has been focused on other issues (i.e., border security and foreign aid legislation, as well as continuing negotiations over government spending for fiscal year (FY) 2024) and the tension between avoiding a markup (with the expected myriad amendments) and demands from several lawmakers to have an opportunity to amend and insert various provisions builds. And now the Senate is on a two-week recess. With viable legislative vehicles scheduled to be considered in early March, such as government funding on March 1 and March 8 and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization on March 8, it is unclear whether a tax package can be agreed to by that time. 

More on the countervailing factors that are at play: Senate Republicans are calling for an amendment process – whether it is informally negotiated or through a formal Senate Finance Committee markup – which will be time consuming. Furthermore, the scope of potential Republican amendments is unknown and there have been reports regarding concerns with the child tax credit (CTC) provisions. The scope of any amendments related to the CTC could potentially have a significant impact on the revenue score of the bill and its viability to pass the House. In addition, Senate leadership also appears amenable to participating in the amendment process as a means of accommodating various Democratic senators' non-tax priorities.  

The importance of coming to an agreement in time for consideration in conjunction with one of the early March vehicles is significant – absent a continuing resolution (CR) extending consideration of government funding, these bills likely represent the most viable legislative vehicles to which a tax bill could be attached for the remainder of the year. Missing the March window of opportunity may delay consideration of the tax bill until post-election as part of a lame duck exercise. And even then, there's no guarantee that it will be taken up after what will likely be a wild election season. #TaxTake

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