Detail

Congress Passes Omnibus $1.3 Trillion Spending Bill Funding Government Through September; Two-Week Congressional Recess Begins

  • May 31, 2019

In a week of intense budget negotiations, a $1.3 trillion dollar “omnibus” spending bill (H.R. 1625) to fund the government through September 30 was introduced Wednesday night to avoid a government shutdown today.  The 2,232-page measure passed both the House and Senate by comfortable margins, and President Trump signed it this afternoon.  (Wall Street Journal, March 23)

As Congress leaves for a two-week recess, the omnibus goes into effect with many non-spending policy provisions and others affecting revenue.

As Congress leaves for a two-week recess, the omnibus goes into effect with many non-spending policy provisions and others affecting revenue. Of interest to real estate:

  • Tax technical corrections positively affecting Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA) provisions; partnership audit reform rules; and an expansion of the low-income housing tax credit.  (Joint Committee on Taxation, Technical Explanation Summary.)

  • The National Flood Insurance Program is decoupled from the omnibus and reauthorized through the end of July – as an incentive for policymakers to pass a longer renewal before their August recess.

  • The EB-5 immigration investment program is extended for six months until Sept. 30 –  the 13th extension since Sept. 2015.

  • The Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields program is reauthorized as part of the BUILD Act, which includes an expansion of brownfield eligibility to non-profits; makes brownfield sites acquired prior 2002 eligible; and increases funds for cleanup up to $500K (or $650,000 w/waiver).

  • Funding for Infrastructure – although specific funding for a “Gateway” railway project between New York and New Jersey is not included, the omnibus includes billions from a variety of sources that could be utilized for such a project.  (CNN, March 22)

Prior to congressional passage of the bill, it was reported that measures addressing the internet sales tax and joint employer issues were under consideration for inclusion, yet both did not make it in the final legislative text.  

The repercussions of the omnibus will be discussed during the April 25 Spring Roundtable Policy Meeting in Washington, DC.