House Ways and Means Committee Chair Dave Camp, R-Mich., held a hearing on April 8 to discuss only seven of the more than 50 tax provisions that expired at the end of 2013. For now, Camp still appears committed to trying to make a handful of expired provisions permanent, rather than temporarily extending most or all of them.
Democrats on the committee complained that they did not have an opportunity to offer extensions of provisions that they support, and some criticized Camp for not proposing to pay for his permanent extensions. Camp said he planned to try to move several separate pieces of permanent legislation instead of one comprehensive “extender” bill. Making some of the temporary provisions permanent would provide a lower permanent revenue baseline, and would potentially make it easier to lower rates as part of tax reform. But tax reform remains extremely unlikely in 2014, and Camp is retiring at the end of the year.
The Senate Finance Committee took the traditional approach — approving legislation that would extend 51 of the expired provisions for two years. The Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency (EXPIRE) Act would provide a retroactive extension from the beginning of 2014, and generally does not include revenue offsets to cover the cost of the extensions. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has pledged to bring the EXPIRE Act to the Senate floor for a vote “sooner rather than later,” but a final agreement between the House and Senate could take months.
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