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Debt Limit Deal Signed Into Law


Before Congress left for its annual August recess, it passed a two-year budget framework and debt ceiling deal. Under the deal, spending caps would be raised by nearly $324 billion over two years and the government would be able to keep borrowing. The budget framework serves as a blueprint for the actual appropriation process which means that Congress will still need to approve a government spending bill later this year. Although the bill was signed into law, many conservatives, and some Democrats, were not pleased with the bill due to the lack of financial offsets. The Trump Administration and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) had been rushing to reach a deal before the end of July to ensure a bill could be voted on before the August recess.

Unfortunately, the bill does not include the tax extenders package as some were expecting. The good news is that Congress will have another bite at the apple to attach tax extenders when it will need to approve a government spending bill later this year. The spending bill could include tax extenders, retirement fixes and technical fixes to the GOP’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

If a tax extenders package moves forward before the end of this year, it is likely to include:

  • A retroactive extension of the $1 per gallon biodiesel tax credit through 2019 and/or 2020 that expired at the end of 2017.
  • A prospective renewal of the Oil Spill Liability Tax (OSLT) through at least 2019. In June, PMAA sent a letter to the Senate Finance Committee to reiterate its support for the biodiesel blender’s tax credit and to oppose a retroactive extension of the OSLT.

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