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House Passes Government Spending Bill, Senate to Follow, Likely This Week


On Thursday, September 19, the House passed a government funding bill known as a continuing resolution (CR) (H.R. 4378) that would avert a government shutdown, by a 301-123 vote. Now the Senate has five legislative days to pass the funding autopilot bill (current gov’t funding expires Sept. 30th) which would give lawmakers until November 21 to pass the remaining full year appropriations bills for the Fiscal Year that begins next month.

The bill was passed after Democrats compromised with the Trump Administration on allowing farmers to continue to receive reimbursements for the cost of tariffs. CR funding would be at levels provided under FY 2019 appropriations laws. The bill also would extend several programs that are slated to expire at the end of fiscal 2019, including the National Flood Insurance Program and various health programs. The Senate is expected to pass the CR next week and then both chambers are expected to leave for a two-week recess.

Given than Congress is likely to approve a spending bill through November 21, action on a tax extenders/retirement fixes/technical fixes to the GOP’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will have to wait until November or even into December. A retroactive extension of the biodiesel blender’s tax credit through 2019 as well as a prospective renewal of the oil spill liability tax (OSLT) is likely to be included in a tax extenders package to be included later this year.

Meanwhile, House Democrats are reportedly working on a clean energy package that could jump start negotiations on a tax extenders package. One of the likely demands is to extend and expand the $7,500 EV tax credit which would benefit Tesla and GM who have already hit their EV targets meaning that they are no longer able to take advantage of the current credit. The package will likely include demands for solar and wind credits. Stay tuned.



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