Bloomberg Tax: Lame Duck Tax Bill Prospects

I spoke with Allyson Versprille of Bloomberg Tax about the dwindling prospects for a large-scale tax package passing during the lame duck, and the procedural challenge facing lawmakers to include any tax title at all:

The House didn’t vote Nov. 30 on a year-end tax bill that had been expected to go to the floor by that time, hurting the odds for the package moving forward this year at all.

Liam Donovan, a principal at Bracewell LLP in Washington, said canceling the vote “tells me the odds of a bigger package this year just went from slim to none.”

Because of the delay, lawmakers may not have the time they need to overcome the various procedural hurdles between the House and Senate to pass a bill, he told Bloomberg Tax in an email.

“It will come down to the timing on a spending deal,” Donovan said. It’s hard to see anything getting done on tax by Dec. 7, but “if they buy an extra week or two with a short-term” continuing resolution “to get to a broader deal, that puts more time on the clock to solve your procedural problems from a tax standpoint,” he said.

Read the entire piece here ($).

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WaPo on Infrastructure (and How to Pay For It)

I spoke with Tory Newmyer of the Washington Post‘s Finance 202 about the prospects of a bipartisan deal on infrastructure and the politics of how to pay for it:

“If the mutual will is there politically, then the funding will be there. If you can broker a deal in principle, the rest will work itself out,” says Liam Donovan, a Republican strategist who lobbies on infrastructure issues. But he said cooperation could break down as a new set of House Democratic chairmen use their subpoena power to launch probes of the Trump administration. “How do you get there with this political cold war in the background?”

The president made the point in his post-election news conference. He said House Democrats could investigate him, “or we can work together. You can’t do them simultaneously, by the way.”

Read the entire piece here.

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E&E News: Spending fight will headline ‘fairly brief’ lame duck

I spoke to Geof Koss of E&E News about the upcoming lame duck session of Congress and the odds of a tax title:

Also waiting in the wings is an assortment of expired energy tax incentives, including for biofuels, alternative vehicles and energy efficiency. There’s bipartisan support in both chambers for doing so, but House Republican leaders continue to resist longer extensions sought by congressional supporters (E&E Daily, Nov. 6).

Liam Donovan, a tax expert and Bracewell principal, said he expects some sort of tax package to emerge in the lame duck, but congressional appetite for tacking on a difficult fight over taxes to the year-end to-do list was unclear.

That would depend on the size and duration of the final spending omnibus. “Because once you crack the door for a tax title, everyone wants to get in,” he said last week, adding that taxes would likely resurface early in the next session of Congress.

Read the entire piece here.

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