November 10, 2021
What to expect in Washington (November 10)
President Biden will sign the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (HR 3684) next week when Congress returns to town from recess, Punchbowl reported November 9. The President will tout the benefits of the bill in Baltimore today. The Baltimore Sun reported, “The Port of Baltimore that President Joe Biden plans to visit Wednesday to showcase his port infrastructure initiatives remains a small player in the nation’s supply chain,” but Biden administration officials “said they chose Baltimore partly because of the September arrival of four new container cranes.”
The House and Senate are out of session this week for the Veterans Day work period and a congressional delegation to the climate summit in Glasgow includes Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who reiterated the plan for the House to vote on the Build Back Better Act (HR 5376) next week. Moderates withheld their support last week pending estimates from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). CBO announced yesterday, “We anticipate releasing estimates for individual titles of the bill as we complete them, some of which will be released this week. Other estimates will take longer, particularly for provisions in some titles that interact with those in other titles.”
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, tweeted November 9: “To clarify for everyone: the agreement we made w/our colleagues was NOT for CBO score. It was for some additional financial information from the CBO. Agreement also says that in no event would the vote take place later than the week of Nov. 15. We trust our colleagues’ commitments.” The agreement was necessary for progressives to vote for the infrastructure bill late Friday night, which they had been reluctant to support without assurances that moderates would come through on reconciliation.
There have also been press stories about the reconciliation bill’s contents. The Wall Street Journal November 9 reported on business community concerns over the proposed 163(n) limitation on the deductibility of interest expense for a domestic corporation that is part of an international financial reporting group, which generally precludes deductions for interest expense exceeding 110% of an allowable percentage and limits the deduction for interest expense to the domestic corporation’s proportionate share of the international group’s interest expense. On October 30, more than three dozen large companies wrote congressional leaders asking them to drop the proposed limits, saying the proposal would be “debilitating to a broad range of industries and sectors,” and added, “This will result in reduced U.S. job creation and investment while encouraging offshore jobs creation.” The story quoted a spokeswoman for Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) as saying the proposal aims to close loopholes “that big corporations exploit to avoid taxes by strategically sticking debt in the United States, when they are already operating and earning income offshore... If they are actually investing and earning their income in the United States, this will not affect them.”
Retirement - The American Benefits Council has issued a paper on retirement plan concerns with the proposed 15% corporate alternative minimum tax (CAMT) proposal based on book income. “The proposed corporate minimum tax rules were not designed to apply to defined benefit plans,” the paper said, and proposes changes.
Today (at 1 p.m.), the House Education & Labor Committee will mark up the RISE Act, which seeks to make an array of improvements to the U.S, retirement system to better help workers and retirees plan and save for secure retirement. The bill’s provisions largely track H.R. 2954, the Securing a Strong Retirement Act, which was reported by the Ways and Means Committee in May. The legislation: