Washington, D.C. – This week, the House and Senate are set to vote on “omnibus” appropriations legislation for the rest of fiscal year 2018. Included in this bill are policies championed by Ways and Means Committee Members that will ensure tax relief for our farmers and ranchers, strengthen families, support our local communities and job creators, and help those who are currently seeking work find it.
House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) said upon the release of this bill:
“The Ways and Means Committee has been active on moving policies that strengthen U.S. job creators, families, and communities. I am pleased with the inclusion of our bicameral solution to address the treatment of the agriculture sector under the pass-through business income provision in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This provision allows our farmers and ranchers to reap the benefits of our new tax law while restoring the competitive balance that has long existed in the agricultural markets. This package will also provide tariff relief for our workers and consumers, offer resources to those who are trying to get back in the workforce, and empower states to help some of our most vulnerable citizens. I applaud all of our Committee Members for fighting for these important policies that are now part of the broader package.”
Here are key policies from Ways and Means Members included in this bill:
Refinement of Tax Rules Related to Agriculture Cooperatives – Modifications are made to the new 20% pass-through deduction for business income in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to ensure that farmers and ranchers receive this benefit like other business owners and to retain the tax benefits that had been available to agricultural cooperatives and their farmer patrons under prior law.
Ensuring Swift Implementation of Our New Tax Law – Funding for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is set at $320 million through September, 2019 for implementation of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, paving the way for the IRS to administer all the benefits of our new, pro-growth tax code in a fair and timely manner.
Three-Year Extension of GSP – The Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), our largest trade preference program delivering what is in essence tax relief to American businesses, workers, and consumers, is extended until December 31, 2020, retroactive to its expiration on December 31, 2017.
Fully Funds Trade Enforcement Fund – $15 million is included for the Trade Enforcement Fund as authorized in the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, improving the United States Trade Representative’s ability to monitor and enforce our trade agreements, investigate violations, and resolve disputes.
Increased Funding for Adoption and Legal Guardianship Incentive Payment program – The Adoption and Legal Guardianship Incentive Payment program rewards states for ensuring children and teenagers in foster care find permanent, loving families or guardians, with states using funds to provide post-adoption services. Funding is included to address a growing gap between what states have earned and the annual funds provided.
Increased Funding for “Family First” – The Family First Prevention Services Act (“Family First”), signed into law as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (BBA18), alters the structure of federal child welfare financing to provide upfront mental health and substance abuse services to strengthen families. This bill provides additional funding for states and the Department of Health and Human Services to provide immediate services and prepare to implement this new law for when funds begin in fiscal year 2020.
Increase for UI Reemployment Funding – BBA18 authorized a multi-year commitment to providing Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessments (RESEAs) to unemployment insurance claimants to shorten benefit durations by getting people back to work. This bill takes the first step by increasing funds for RESEAs in fiscal year 2018 to help unemployed individuals get back into the labor force quickly through increased engagement and connection to the existing workforce development system.