Policymakers Aim to Pass $1.2 Trillion Budget, Avoid Shutdown

Lawmakers pushed a sprawling $1.2 trillion legislative package through Congress today that would avoid a government shutdown at midnight by funding more than half the government through Sept. 30. After the House passed the funding measure today, the Senate will likely approve the package and send it to President Biden for his signature. (Bloomberg and Forbes, March 22)

Minibus Faces Fiscal Cliff

  • If the Senate debate goes past the midnight “fiscal cliff,” the White House budget office can delay a shutdown order before Monday. Congress is aiming to pass the budget before departing Washington for their two-week Easter break. (Washington Post, March 20 and AP, March 22)
  • The 1,012-page, six-bill “minibus” (H.R. 2882) includes funding for the IRS, Pentagon, Department of Homeland Security, and foreign aid. Five and a half months after FY2024 began on Oct. 1, 2023, the government has operated on temporary funding extensions. (PBS, March 22)
  • The Congressional Budget Office listed a detailed breakdown of this week’s funding bundle on March 21. The other half of the government’s budget was enacted earlier this month under a two-tiered congressional agreement. (NBC News, March 9 and Roundtable Weekly, March 1)

House Republicans

  • Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) filed a motion (H. Res. 2203) to remove House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), above, from his leadership post in protest over the legislation. Since the motion was filed but not brought up for a vote, no immediate action will be taken. “This is more of a warning than a pink slip,” she said. (Wall Street Journal, March 22)

Speaker Johnson’s House Republican caucus is about to drop to a one-vote majority, as retiring Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) will exit the House as soon as next month. (Politico, March 22)

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President Biden’s FY2025 Budget Calls for $4.9 Trillion in Tax Increases

The Biden administration this week released its $7.3 trillion FY2025 budget request, which includes $4.9 trillion in tax increases and several tax proposals impacting capital gains. The Treasury Department also released its “Green Book,” which provides detailed descriptions of the budget’s tax proposals and associated revenue estimates. (White House budget and Treasury news release, March 11)

Capital Gains Focus

  • The White House’s annual budget represents the economic policy agenda of the Biden administration. While it is a wish list with no immediate impact, it sets a marker for upcoming debates on spending and fiscal priorities in Congress and throughout the upcoming election. This week’s budget document includes many of the same tax proposals in President Biden’s previous budgets and policies outlined during his State of the Union address last week. (Roundtable Weekly, March 8 and White House Fact Sheet on the Budget, March 11)
  • The FY2025 Green Book repeats the administration’s proposal to tax capital gains at ordinary income rates—nearly doubling the capital gains rate from 20% to 39.6%.  The budget would also increase the net investment income tax from 3.8% to 5% and extend the tax to all pass-through business income, effectively ending the exception for real estate professionals active in the business. As a result, the top combined tax rate on real estate capital gains and rental income would rise to 44.6%.
  • Other tax proposals in the budget would create a 25% minimum tax on the unrealized gains and income of individuals with more than $100 million in wealth, recapture depreciation deductions at ordinary income rates when real estate is sold, and raise the top personal income tax rate from 37% to 39.6% for those making more than $400,000. The president also proposes to raise the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%. (The Hill, March 13)
  • Biden’s 2025 budget would largely eliminate the deferral of capital gain through like-kind exchanges (section 1031) and tax all carried interest as ordinary income. (White House Fact Sheet, March 11)

Tax Debates Begin

  • Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will testify on the administration’s budget and tax proposals before the Senate Finance Committee March 21 and during an upcoming House Ways and Means Committee hearing.
  • The Green Book will serve as a reference for congressional Democrats who develop large-scale tax legislation for the next Congress in anticipation of the expiration of 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act provisions at the end of 2025.
  • As the FY2025 budget proposals spark a wide-ranging tax debate, a current $79 billion tax package—passed by the House and supported by The Roundtable—is pending in the Senate. (CQ News | Politico Pro | Tax Notes, March 15). Additional proposals in the budget impact housing policy—see story below.

Joint Employer Rule Struck

  • Separately, a federal court on March 8 blocked the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) final joint-employment standard rule. The decision from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas addressed whether the expansive definition has the potential to expose broad swaths of employers to liability for labor law violations committed by contractors or franchisees. The court vacated the NLRB rule, stating the joint-employment standard interpretation is too broad. (Politico Weekly Shift, March 11, 2024 and Roundtable Weekly, Jan. 17, 2020)

As an appeal from NLRB is expected, employers should continue to comply with the current joint-employer rule adopted in 2020. (JD Supra, March 14)

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Congress Extends Government Funding Until March, House Ways & Means Approves Tax Package with LIHTC and Business Provisions

President Biden signed legislation today that averts a partial federal government shutdown by extending federal funding to March 1 and 8. The stopgap, passed by Congress yesterday, gives policymakers limited time to negotiate 12 additional bills at an agreed-upon $1.59 trillion limit to fund the government through the end of its fiscal year on Sept. 30. (Associated Press, Jan. 19 | (Politico and The Hill, Jan. 18)

Stopgap Funding

  • Today’s stopgap is the third “continuing resolution” Congress has cleared since the start of the current fiscal year on Oct. 1. Intense opposition from members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus led Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) to reach an agreement with Democrats to support the measure. (Wall Street Journal, Jan. 18)
  • A similar short-term spending bill last October led to the ouster of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) by House conservatives. (Wall Street Journal, Jan. 8)

Bipartisan Tax Package Advances

House Ways and Means Committee
  • Provisions in the tax bill affecting real estate include:

    • Low-Income Housing Tax Credit
      A Roundtable-supported three-year extension (2023–2025) of the 12.5 percent increase in LIHTC allocations to states. Even more importantly, the agreement reforms LIHTC’s tax-exempt bond financing requirement, which will allow more affordable housing projects to receive LIHTC allocations outside of the state cap, and without requiring projects be financed with 50% tax-exempt bonds.
       
    • Business Interest Deductibility
      A retroactive, four-year extension (2022–2025) of the taxpayer-favorable EBITDA standard for measuring the amount of business interest deductible under section 163(j). The changes do not alter the exception to the interest limitation that applies to interest attributable to a real estate business.

    • Bonus Depreciation 
      Extension of 100 percent bonus depreciation through the end of 2025. As under current law, leasehold and other qualifying interior improvements are eligible for bonus depreciation. In 2026, bonus depreciation would fall to 20 percent and expire altogether after 2026.  

  • Other provisions in the agreement include reforms to the child tax credit, the expensing of R&D costs, disaster tax relief, a double-taxation tax agreement with Taiwan, and a large pay-for that creates significant new penalties for abuse of the employee retention tax credit (ERTC) rules and accelerates the expiration of the ERTC.

Sen. Wyden and senior congressional staff will discuss tax legislation with Roundtable members during The Roundtable’s all-member 2024 State of the Industry Meeting in Washington next week.

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President Biden’s FY2024 Budget Aims to Raise Taxes on Real Estate, Capital Formation, and Investment

FY2023 Budget Cover

The Biden administration yesterday proposed a $6.9 trillion FY2024 budget that includes $3 trillion in deficit reduction and $2.2 trillion in tax increases over the next decade on corporations, high-earning households, and certain business activities, including real estate investment. (White House budget materials and Treasury Department news release)

Blueprint for Negotiations

  • Real Estate Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer said, “Congress has rejected several of these same tax proposals in the past. In particular, Congress has said no to proposals to double the capital gains rate, tax gains reinvested in property of a like-kind, or taxing unrealized gains. We will strongly urge that these counter-productive proposals again be rejected. They have weak policy support, are poorly timed and quite risky given the current uncertain economy.”
  •  Of note for real estate:
    • Capital Gains Rate
      The top, combined tax rate on long-term capital gains would nearly double from 23.8% (20% + 3.8% net investment income tax) to 44.6%. This results from increasing the maximum capital gains rate from 20% to 39.6% and a new proposal to increase the net investment income tax from 3.8% to 5%.
    • Mark-to-Market Tax on Unrealized Capital Gains
      The FY 2024 budget carries over President Biden’s proposal from last year, imposing a retroactive, annual minimum tax of 25% on the income and unrealized gains of taxpayers with wealth (assets minus liabilities) exceeding $100M.
    • Real Estate Professionals
      The budget also carries over a proposal to extend the 3.8% net investment income tax to real estate professionals and other pass-through business owners who are currently exempt from the tax because they are active in their business.

Tax ProposalsChicago cityscape sky view

  • Other real estate-related tax proposals include:
    • Taxing carried interest as ordinary income
    • Limiting the deferral of gain from like-kind exchanges
    • Increasing the top tax rate on ordinary income to $39.6%
    • Ending step-up in basis and taxing unrealized capital gains at death
    • Expanding the limitation on excess business losses for non-corporate taxpayers by converting the limitation from a 1-year deferral to a permanent compartmentalization of active pass-through losses
    • Modifying tax rules for grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs) and grantor trusts
    • Recapturing and taxing real estate depreciation deductions at ordinary income tax rates
  • The budget also devotes $59 billion to provisions aimed at increasing the supply and availability of affordable housing, as well as $10 billion “to incentivize State, local, and regional jurisdictions to make progress in removing barriers to affordable housing developments, such as restrictive zoning.” Tax incentives in the budget include an expansion of the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) and a new tax credit for the development of affordable, owner-occupied housing.

These tax issues and other policies affecting CRE will be discussed during The Roundtable’s Spring Meeting on April 24-25 in Washington.

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Congress Passes Funding Extension Through Dec. 16, Lame Duck Session Awaits

US Capitol at dusk

A stopgap funding bill that will keep the government open through mid-December passed the Senate yesterday, the House today, and is expected to receive President Biden’s signature tonight. (Bill text and summary

CR Buys Time 

  • The “continuing resolution” (CR) passed Congress after an energy permitting measure sponsored by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) was removed earlier in the week. (Business Insider, Sept. 27)
  • The funding bill will keep federal agencies operating through Dec. 16, buying time for lawmakers during the upcoming lame duck session to craft a possible FY2023 “omnibus” budget package by year-end.
  • The CR includes reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which has been extended more than 20 times. Bloomberg reported that House Financial Services Chair Maxine Waters (D-CA) wants a longer-term NFIP extension and other program changes. “It has to be bipartisan. We are working on keeping the premiums down, and some of the other issues that have been brought to our attention,” she said. 

Lame Duck Awaits

Congress in session

  • After the November election and before the new Congress is seated in January, current members of Congress will return for a “lame duck” legislative session. In addition to addressing outstanding legislative issues, lawmakers will meet with newly elected members, organize their respective party conferences, vote on leadership and committee positions, and discuss their post-election policy agendas.
  • On Thursday, Senate Leader Chuck Schumer announced the Senate would not return until Nov. 14. (The Hill, Sept. 29)
  • The House is scheduled to return from recess on Nov. 9, after the midterm elections.
  • Legislative issues that will vie for attention in the lame duck session include federal appropriations, reauthorization of defense programs, and expiring tax provisions affecting real estate such as certain temporary expansions of the low-income housing tax credit.
  • The elections, tax policy, inflation and other policy issues were among the topics discussed by industry leaders and national lawmakers last week during the Fall Roundtable meeting in Washington. (Roundtable Weekly, Sept. 23).

Next on The Roundtable’s calendar is the Real Estate Capital Policy Advisory Committee (RECPAC) meeting on Nov. 2 in New York City.  

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Biden Administration Submits FY2023 Budget to Congress, Proposes Tax and Other Measures Impacting Real Estate

Budget FY23 visual

The Biden administration on Monday released its $5.8 trillion FY2023 Budget, a package of spending, tax, and policy proposals that will face extensive congressional scrutiny and revisions over the coming months. The March 28 budget was accompanied by the Treasury Department’s “Greenbook,” which details the Administration’s $2.5 trillion in tax increases on corporations, high-earning households, and certain business activities, including real estate investment. (New York Times and BGov, March 29) 

Billionaire Minimum Income Tax 

  • The new budget proposes to tax the wealthiest households on their unrealized capital gains, including real estate. The so-called “Billionaire minimum income tax” would impose a minimum levy of 20 percent on a comprehensive tax base that includes both realized income and the unrealized annual appreciation of a taxpayer’s assets.
  • The new tax would apply to future appreciation of assets and all unrealized, built-in gains at the time of enactment. The tax on pre-enactment, built-in gains would be collected over a 9-year transition period.
  • Although marketed as a tax on “billionaires,” the proposal would apply to any taxpayer with $100 million or more in wealth. This initial high threshold arguably represents a first step towards a wealth tax regime with much broader application. The original income tax applied to the top 1/3 of one percent of the U.S. population and now applies to over 150 million American households.
  • In certain cases, holders of illiquid assets like real estate could elect to defer the minimum tax until the property is sold, provided they pay an additional charge.
  • The budget leaves many of the most difficult questions unanswered, including:
     

    • How would the tax survive a constitutional challenge on the grounds that direct taxes must be apportioned among the states by population?
    • Why would taxpayers continue to make patient, long-term investments, knowing that they could be taxed before the investment generates cash income?
    • Will much of the tax burden fall on noneconomic inflationary increases in asset values? 
    • How will the IRS administer the tax without building a highly intrusive compliance system that is based on subjective valuation measures?
  • Another new revenue proposal in the budget relates is to tax depreciation recapture at ordinary income rates. The provision generally would treat gain on real estate held for more than one year as ordinary income to the extent of cumulative depreciation deductions taken in tax years beginning after 2022. Depreciation recapture is currently taxed at a rate of 25 percent.

The White House with Washington Monument

  • The White House budget also includes tax proposals recycled from last year that failed to pass congressional budget negotiations, including:
    • repealing the deferral of gain from real estate like-kind exchanges;
    • taxing long-term capital gains at ordinary income rates;
    • taxing carried interest in real estate partnerships as ordinary income; and
    • treating transfers of property at death as realization events subject to capital gains tax.

Immediate Congressional Pushback

  • The spending and revenue proposals faced immediate pushback on Capitol Hill by Republicans and Democrats, including Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), a key centrist who stated he opposes President Biden’s 20% minimum tax on unrealized capital gains for households worth at least $100 million. (CQ News, March 29)
  • Manchin told The Hill, “You can’t tax something that’s not earned. Earned income is what we’re based on. Everybody has to pay their fair share, that’s for sure. But unrealized gains is not the way to do it, as far as I’m concerned.”
  • Manchin also recently stated he is open to negotiating some limited remnants of the defunct Build Back Better (BBB) Act, with a focus on energy-related incentives, prescription drug costs ,and deficit reduction. (Business Insider, March 24) 

Other Measures Directly Affecting Real Estate 

President Joe Biden

  • Biden budget proposals impacting other aspects of The Roundtable’s 2022 Policy Agenda include:
     

    • Energy and Climate – the president’s budget request outlines $44.9 billion for increased spending on several climate-related initiatives, yet does not address specific clean energy provisions that were part of last year’s BBB bill. Instead, a “deficit neutral reserve fund” is noted in the FY23 budget to accommodate a potential future deal on clean energy legislation with Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ). (E&E News, March 28 and Axios Generate, March 29)
    • Affordable Housing – the FY23 budget seeks to ease the nation’s affordable housing shortage with $50 billion in federal funding for housing construction and supply, including $35 billion for state and local housing finance agencies. (PoliticoPro, March 28)
    • SEC Reporting Requirements – The Securities and Exchange Commission would receive $2.15 billion in the FY2023 budget proposal, an 11.4% increase from FY2021 (BGOV, March 28). The SEC has ramped up its activity recently with proposed rules on reporting requirements for investment advisers, climate risks and cybersecurity incidents that may have significant impacts for the real estate industry. 

Issues outlined in The Roundtable’s recently released 2022 Policy Agenda in the areas of tax, climate, capital and credit and cybersecurity will be discussed during the April 25-26 Spring Meeting (Roundtable-level members only) in Washington DC. 

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White House Requests Billions for Ukraine and Pandemic Response as Congress Rushes to Pass Omnibus Funding

The White House with Washington Monument

Congressional appropriators received an emergency request yesterday from the White House for an additional $10 billion for Ukraine assistance and $22.5 billion for pandemic response funding. The request may complicate lawmakers’ efforts to pass an “omnibus” spending package by March 11, when current government funding expires. (Punchbowl News, March 3) 

Omni Funding 

  • Congressional appropriators may release the text of an omni bill within days, as House Democrats hope to pass a potential $1.5 trillion spending package early next week for the Senate to consider before the March 11 funding deadline. (Politico, March 3)
  • A deal on an omni package would fund the government though Sept. 30, consolidate 12 separate spending bills and release additional funds for infrastructure. (Tax Notes, Feb. 18 and Roundtable Weekly, Feb. 11)
  • Reauthorization and reform of the EB-5 visa investment program is one of the many issues being negotiated for possible inclusion in the omni funding bill.
  • If efforts to pass an omnibus deal fail, Congress could pass yet another Continuing Resolution to fund the government at current levels – while considering separate bills to fund aid for Ukraine or the U.S. response to COVID-19. 

SOTU & Climate Measures 

State of the Union 2022

  • Yesterday’s White House emergency request comes after President Joe Biden’s March 1 State of the Union address, where he sought to rebrand the multitrillion Build Back Better (BBB) spending package into a pared-down proposal called “Building a Better America.” (BGov, March 2)
  • The moribund BBB legislation stalled at $1.7 trillion, which included $555 billion in climate-related incentives. (Roundtable Weekly, Jan. 21)
  • President Biden’s address on Tuesday also touched on climate measures such as tax credits for electric vehicles, energy efficiency improvements, and clean energy production. (White House Fact Sheets on Clean Energy and Infrastructure, Feb. 28)
  • “Let’s provide investment tax credits to weatherize your home and your business to be energy efficient and get a tax credit for it; double America’s clean energy production in solar, wind, and so much more,” Biden stated.
  • The Real Estate Roundtable on Nov. 16, 2021 supported the BBB Act’s climate measures in a letter to congressional tax writers. The letter also detailed five Roundtable recommendations aimed at improving certain green energy tax provisions affecting real estate. (Roundtable letter, Nov. 16)   

Key Senate Votes 

Sens. Sinema and Manchin

  • Key Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), right, chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, has signaled his support for climate measures in a revised BBB package. (Roundtable Weekly, Feb. 18)
  • Manchin on Wednesday responded to the State of the Union, saying he could support a smaller spending package that would split revenue between deficit reduction and new spending. Manchin said, “If you do that, the revenue producing [measures] would be taxes and [prescription] drugs. The spending is going to be climate.” (Politico, March 2 and E&E News, March 3)
  • However, another key vote in the 50-50 upper chamber – Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), left – has voiced opposition to raising taxes. (BGov, March 2)

As Congress continues to work on the current fiscal year budget, President Biden will release a non-binding budget for the 2023 fiscal year that will outline his administration’s major economic, tax and climate policy priorities. The Treasury Department will also release its “Greenbook,” which will detail proposed tax cuts and revenue raisers that could fund the White House’s budget initiatives.    

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Senate Passes Stopgap Funding, Giving Congress Three Weeks to Pass FY2022 Omnibus Spending Bill

Capitol light

The Senate yesterday approved funding to keep the government open through March 11, allowing congressional negotiators an additional three weeks to reach a spending deal for fiscal year 2022. (CQ, Feb. 18) 

From CR to Omni 

  • The legislation (H.R. 6617) extends FY2021 funding levels, averting a government shutdown at midnight tonight. President Biden is expected to sign the Continuing Resolution (CR), which was passed by the House last week. (Roundtable Weekly, Feb. 11)
  • Congressional appropriators are now focused on crafting an “omnibus” bill to fund the government though the end of FY2021, which began Oct. 1 and ends Sept. 30. A deal on an omni package would consolidate 12 separate spending bills and release additional funds for infrastructure. (Tax Notes, Feb. 18)
  • The must-pass omnibus could become a vehicle for additional tax measures, including expired tax incentives and energy credits known as extenders. Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, (D-OR), told Tax Notes on February 10 that certain credits may be included in an omnibus bill or in a scaled-down Build Back Better Act (H.R. 5376).
  • The Biden administration’s request for Congress to appropriate billions more in COVID-19 response funds is meeting bipartisan resistance. Senate Appropriations Chair Patrick Leahy (D-VT) this week commented on negotiations about the omnibus and the White House supplemental, stating, “That should probably be a separate bill.” (Politico, Feb. 17 and PoliticPro, Feb. 18) 

Roundtable & Energy Measures 

Buildings sky

  • Omnibus negotiations and pandemic funding may be followed by congressional consideration of a pared-down BBB bill as the mid-term elections grow closer. Key Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, has signaled his support for climate measures in a revised BBB package. (CNN, Jan. 5 and New York Times, Jan. 20)
  • The Roundtable has supported the BBB Act’s climate measures, which include a suite of clean energy tax credits and incentives amounting to $300 billion. (Roundtable Weekly, Jan. 7)
  • The Roundtable sent a letter to Congressional tax writers on Nov. 16, 2021 detailing five recommendations aimed at improving the green energy tax provisions affecting real estate. (Roundtable letter, Nov. 16)  

The Senate returns on Feb. 28 for President Biden’s first State of the Union address on March 1, which will be followed by the administration’s FY2023 budget request. 

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House Passes Government Funding Extension Until March 11 as Appropriators Signal Progress on FY2022 Omnibus

Capitol building

The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a continuing resolution (CR) that would prevent a government shutdown on Feb. 18 by extending current government funding levels for three weeks, through March 11. The CR, which also applies to the National Flood Insurance Program, moves to the Senate for consideration next week. (CR legislative text and summary

CR & Omnibus 

  • If passed by the Senate, the CR would give lawmakers additional time to finalize a separate “omnibus” spending bill for fiscal year 2022, which runs from Oct. 1, 2021 through Sept. 30, 2022. (BGov, Feb. 9)
  • House and Senate Appropriations Committee leaders announced on Wednesday a “framework” deal for top-line spending levels for defense and domestic funding. Such an agreement would clear the way for congressional committees to complete a sweeping 12-bill spending bundle, which could amount to a $1.5 trillion omnibus package funding government operations into the fall. (PoliticoPro, Feb. 10)
  • A full-year omnibus package would also release an additional $197 billion over 10 years for energy, transportation, and other programs that were part of last year’s bipartisan infrastructure bill. (BGov, Feb. 9 and CQ, Feb. 10) 

Omni & BBB 

Sen. Joe Manchin

  • The “omni” funding bill is now a focus of Congress since President Biden’s multi-trillion Build Back Better (BBB) Act has been sidelined on Capitol Hill. (Politico, Feb. 10)
  • Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), above, – a key vote in the 50-50 Senate – said on Sunday that he sees a government funding package as a higher priority than the stalled BBB bill. ‘We have to get a budget bill first,’ Manchin said. (CNN, Feb 6)
  • Manchin this week also expressed his reluctance to endorse additional federal spending, after news that consumer inflation rose to 7.5%, the largest 12-month increase in four decades. (BGov, Feb. 10)
  • Manchin’s statement included, “It’s beyond time for the Federal Reserve to tackle [inflation] head on, and Congress and the Administration must proceed with caution before adding more fuel to an economy already on fire. As inflation and our $30 trillion in national debt continue a historic climb, only in Washington, DC do people seem to think that spending trillions more of taxpayers’ money will cure our problems, let alone inflation,” Manchin said.  (Newsweek, Feb. 10) 

The start of the 2023 fiscal year cycle is approaching as Congress aims to pass an omnibus for the current year by March. President Biden is expected to release his FY2023 budget request shortly after his State of the Union address on March 1.  

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Congress Considers Short-Term Continuing Resolution as Feb. 18 Budget Deadline Looms

Capitol with flag

House Democratic leaders, facing a heavy agenda and a Feb. 18 government funding deadline, are considering a three-week stopgap funding bill to allow appropriators more time to complete 2022 spending bills. (RollCall, Feb. 4) 

Negotiating Omnibus 

  • The House may vote early next week on a possible “Continuing Resolution” (CR) to extend current funding levels through March 11 and avoid a possible government shutdown. A CR would also require Senate approval. (CQ, Feb. 4)
  • Negotiations among congressional appropriations leaders to reach a deal on a bipartisan omnibus bill for FY202 – which runs from Oct. 1, 2021 through Sept. 30, 2022 – have stalled on reaching top-line spending levels for defense and domestic funding. (The Hill, Feb. 1)
  • This would be the third government funding stopgap for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1.
  • Yesterday, Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-AL) stated that the length of time agreed upon for another CR extension would reflect whether Democrats and Republicans can agree to a funding deal. “If it’s a short-term [CR], that would mean probably that we’re making some progress, real progress,” Shelby said. “If it’s longer, we might go … for the rest of the year.”  (The Hill, Feb. 3) 

A Demanding Agenda 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

  • A crowded congressional agenda – including what may be next for the stalled Build Back Better (BBB) Act, international geopolitics, and action on President Biden’s upcoming Supreme Court nominee – adds pressure for policymakers to reach agreement on a spending bill.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), above, yesterday noted the urgency to reach an omnibus funding agreement. She stated, “We’re hoping to get that done as soon as possible in terms of … the omnibus bill.” Pelosi added, “One connection between infrastructure and omnibus is that some of the money in the infrastructure bill cannot be freed up until we pass the omnibus bill,” she said. (Pelosi Weekly Press Conference, Feb. 3)
  • Separately, the impact of the FY2022 funding negotiations are unlikely to affect the timing for congressional consideration of how to pare down the BBB Act (H.R. 5376), according to House Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal (D-MA) and Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR). Both policymakers said they did not want to set an “artificial” deadline for potential revisions to the stalled proposal. (Tax Notes, Feb. 3 and Roundtable Weekly, Jan. 21)
  • As FY2022 spending negotiations continue, The Washington Post reported today that the White House may request additional federal funding from Congress to aid pandemic recovery as current funding for preparedness is starting to dwindle.  

President Biden is also expected to start the next fiscal year cycle with the release of his fiscal budget request for 2023 – shortly after his State of the Union address on March 1. 

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