Becker & Poliakoff

Becker’s Washington Weekly: Week of January 15

Becker’s Washington Weekly: Week of January 15

Congress Full Steam Ahead

Congress kicked off its second work week of 2024 with two bipartisan, bicameral proposals: a tax package and a stopgap funding deal to avert a government shutdown at the end of the week.

The stopgap proposal was released Monday by the Senate Appropriations Committee and has the backing of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA).

It extends the same “laddered” funding structure of the current continuing resolution (CR) Congress passed last November to keep two tranches of the federal government open through March 1st and March 8th (from January 19th and February 2nd, respectively). Therefore, lawmakers would need to pass the CR in order to avoid a partial government shutdown this week.

Like the current CR, this proposed stopgap is a “clean” CR, meaning it contains no policy riders sought by either party such as Republican-backed immigration overhauls or President Biden’s request for more Ukraine aid.

Also released this week is the tax package agreed to by House Ways and Means Chairman Jason Smith (R-MO) and Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR). It specifies changes to the Child Tax Credit and certain corporate tax deductions, outlines affordable housing tax credits, and creates various tax benefits for Taiwan residents in the U.S. – amongst other provisions.

In addition to these proposals, House lawmakers will hold a series of floor votes on several bills under expedited procedures, including those concerning CBP revenue and operations, foster and adoptive families, and protections for journalists.

Both Chambers are also set to hold several committee hearings this week, including the following:

  • The House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee will discuss the state of transportation
  • The House Foreign Affairs Committee will examine how U.S. dollars affect China’s military
  • The Senate Budget Committee will discuss ways to close corporate tax loopholes
  • The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will examine the effects of Long-COVID