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Legislative News

  • Wed, March 22, 2023 2:31 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Joining a coalition of business organizations and groups, CIRT will be supporting efforts introduced in the 117th Congress to permanently repeal the federal estate tax.  Currently, temporary estate tax relief was included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) which doubled exemptions to about $12.9 million for 2023 and indexed future increases for inflation. However, these changes are set to expire at the end of 2025, leaving businesses, families, and most taxpayers uncertain when it comes to planning for this eventual event.  To address this, the FBETC coalition has urged passage of a bill to finally eliminate this generational federal tax.

    For more information see, FBETC Letter.

  • Sat, March 11, 2023 2:29 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A large coalition of business organizations and groups have expressed their strong opposition to the Biden-Harris Administration’s stunning $6.8 Trillion 2024 Federal Budget Proposal. CIRT joined the other parties pointing out that: “The more than $4 trillion in tax hikes it proposes target businesses responsible for most of the jobs and growth in this country and come at a time when federal tax collections are at record levels.”  The coalition also noted “The huge deficits forecast in the President’s budget are not the result of a revenue shortage” given federal tax collections were nearly $5 trillion last year, a record high (an amazing 47-percent increase from when the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was enacted in 2017). Simply stated, the budget deficits are caused by “runaway” spending proposals that appear to have no boundaries or limits as to the amounts being sought.  Besides fueling inflationary pressure with bloated programs paid in large measure from borrowing, the recent bank failures portend the possibility of a slowing or fragile economy ahead, where massive tax hikes will damage the ability of businesses to weather a potential coming economic storm.

    See, attached coalition letter for details.

  • Thu, December 15, 2022 3:29 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Today, the Biden-Harris Administration released a guidebook on elements of the recently passed “Inflation Reduction Act.”  The new resource titled Building a Clean Energy Economy: A Guidebook to the Inflation Reduction Act’s Investments in Clean Energy and Climate Action, seeks to provide clear descriptions of the law’s tax incentives and funding programs to build a clean energy economy, lower energy costs, tackle climate change, and reduce harmful pollution.

    The publication is intended to help state, local, territorial, and Tribal leaders, the private sector, non-profit organizations, homeowners, and communities better understand how they can benefit from these investments and unlock the full potential of the law. The Guidebook walks through the law program-by-program and provides background on each program’s purpose, eligibility requirements, period of availability, and other key details. 

    For a copy of the new Guidebook go to the White House released first edition.

  • Thu, December 01, 2022 1:51 PM | Anonymous

    The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 provided $45.6 billion in enforcement funding to the IRS (to hire tens of thousands of agents), while providing significantly less ($3.18 billion) for taxpayer service and ($4.75 billion) for business systems modernization. Commissioner Rettig and Treasury Secretary Yellen have sought to defuse the whirlwind of criticism by claiming the funding/agents will not be used to audit taxpayers with less than $400,000 in taxable income, but these statements provide little comfort and no statutory protection to family-owned businesses. In response, Reps. Adrian Smith and Michelle Steel have introduced the Family and Small Business Taxpayer Protection Act, H.R. 9092.

    CIRT has joined a cross-section of business organizations in support of the Family and Small Business Taxpayer Protection Act, urging its passage in the “lame-duck” session before Christmas. The bill would rescind the IRA’s enforcement and operations support funding, while leaving in place funding for taxpayer services and business systems modernization.

    (SEE, joint letter for details).

  • Tue, September 27, 2022 1:52 PM | Anonymous

    The U.S. House of Representatives has been using the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) as the vehicle for controversial and otherwise un-passable provisions. In a letter opposing the ENABLERS Act, which was added as a rider on the NDAA, CIRT joined a cross section of “Main Street” business organizations and enterprises to express concern that Congress is trying to sneak through additional reporting requirements that would affect millions of small businesses, nonprofits, and other entities.  The new provisions are very similar to the measure that played out just a few years ago when the Corporate Transparency Act was included as part of the NDAA. (For more background see: https://s-corp.org/2022/09/disable_enablers_act/).  The Corporate Transparency Act covers many of the same issues and has yet to be fully implemented or its impacts and viability accessed – before yet more rules should be added on top.

    (SEE, Coalition Letter on this matter for details).

  • Mon, September 26, 2022 2:11 PM | Anonymous

    A broad coalition representing federal contractors are urging Congress to reject proposed labor-related amendments in the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023 (H.R. 7900). As proposed, the provisions will likely increase the costs of doing business with the federal government, by harming competition in the federal contracting marketplace for both small businesses and traditional larger firms.  A series of controversial partisan issues were added to the House version that covered subjects like: preference for DOD private contracts with union labor force agreements, debarment proceedings against any federal contractors with Fair Labor Standards Act violations from the previous five years (removing current qualifiers and due process considerations), along with a similarly flawed provision barring contracts with firms found to have violated section 8(a) of the National Labor Relations Act during a three-year period proceeding date of a contract award. With regard to the last two proposed provisions, beyond being disruptive they may also be unnecessary given they are premature with respect to the long awaited publication of the Acquisition Innovation Research Center (AIRC) report on the extent to which existing statutory and discretionary debarment procedures address the Department’s interests and identify any gaps.

    In addition, the House version of the NDAA of 2023 included provisions that uncut competition and firm eligibility. The new onerous burdens require military construction contractors (and subcontractors) performing the contracts to be licensed in the state where the work is located and also MANDATES local hiring preferences.

    As a result of the negative, disruptive, and most likely costly increases from these provisions, the coalition of organizations, including CIRT, has urged the Senate to reject similar language in their version; and to resist inclusion of such provisions in the final conference bill.

    [For details see, Coalition Letter to Congress on Provisions in the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2023]

  • Mon, August 08, 2022 1:38 PM | Anonymous

    The so-called “Inflation Reduction Act” passed in the U.S. Senate when VP Kamala Harris broke the 50-50 tie on Sunday in favor of the controversial package. The bill rolls-up a number of items under a reconciliation package used to avoid the 60-vote filibuster thereby permitting the 50 Democrats and allies to pass the legislation. The $740 billion package included billions of more spending on extending Obama-care subsidies and more funding for climate related items, while also including massive new taxing authority that have left some questioning its true impact in the middle of a growing recession. The Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) contends that the measure will increase taxes on thousands of mid-sized to small businesses across the United States. “Any business that has [private equity] in its capital structure is now considered a subsidiary of that firm and thus subject to 15 percent book tax,”

    Overall critics have noted: “All Fifty Democrat Senators have voted for a massive tax hike during a recession, more subsidies during a period of runaway inflation, and “siccing” 87,000 new IRS agents on independent businesses at a cost of $80 billion.” Adding in sum: “Every single Democrat in the US Senate cast the deciding vote to raise taxes in a recession. Every one of them” given the 50-50 tie was brought about by all 48 Democrats and the two (2) Independents Senators that caucus with them holding ranks on the nearly trillion-dollar package.

  • Tue, July 12, 2022 1:50 PM | Anonymous

    #UPDATE TO STORY on Opposition to Mandatory PLA
    The Kilmer/Fitzpatrick amendment that would have codified into law President Biden’s required PLA / EO 14063 was withdrawn. After the Rules Committee meeting today, it does not appear that they are offering a substitute amendment that would be specific to the DoD and they do not have the ability to offer a floor amendment. [THEREFORE: The coalition letter will NOT be needed or sent at this time].

    Once again, a large coalition of design and construction organizations, groups, and firms have united in their opposition to a proposed amend to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023 (H.R. 7900) that will likely result in reduced competition, increased costs, delays, poor local hiring outcomes and litigation on critical federal construction contracts.  Amendment No. 1083, offered by Rep. Dale Kilmer, D-Wash., would codify into law President Biden’s Executive Order 14063, which requires project labor agreements on all federal construction contracts of $35 million or more.  CIRT is not opposed to PLA’s, but has consistently opposed “mandatory” or “required” use of PLA’s on direct or funded federal projects.

    SEE attached coalition letter to leadership of Congress for details.

  • Wed, June 22, 2022 12:00 PM | Anonymous

    A sign of how desperate President Biden has become to turn around the bad news associated with rising gas prices, he is proposing a three-month federal gas tax holiday (i.e., suspending collection).  An official announcement from the White House contends: “The President is also calling on Congress to make sure that a gas tax holiday has no negative effect on the Highway Trust Fund.”  To avoid jeopardizing infrastructure spending, one of the few bipartisan accomplishments to date, “the President believes that we can afford to suspend the gas tax to help consumers while using other revenues to make the Highway Trust Fund whole for the roughly $10 billion cost.”

    Congressional bills consistent with this approach have been introduced in the Senate and the House of Representatives – but, it remains to be seen even if the proposal does garner the necessary support, whether it will amount to any more than temporary relief from rising gas prices. [Some contend, in the long run it may actually increase inflation by removing a portion of the cost, for the next three months, that may have otherwise tamped down demand].  Notwithstanding, the proposal does not suggest reversing or temporarily suspending any policies and/or regulations that have blunted American production and refining to help address the supply side as a long term solution.

  • Wed, April 06, 2022 5:54 PM | Anonymous

    In advance of a “bill markup” by the House Education and Labor Committee to reauthorize the “Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act” (WIOA); members of the Opportunity America Coalition have weighed in. The proposed legislation is welcomed by the Coalition to the extent that it will increase outlays on important aspects of workforce training and upskilling with proposed grants for industry and sector partnerships, changes to state eligible training provider lists, supports incumbent worker training, and codifies grants for community college education on these matters.

    However, the Coalition’s support is tempered by concerns regarding: (a) diluting employer input at the state/local workforce board level, (b) provisions seeming to add barriers to companies that seek funding for on-the-job training, and (c) that the draft is not a bi-partisan effort that balances all the interests while creating a more practical vehicle that recognizes market-driven needs and aligns it with changing job requirements.

    The Coalition has vowed to press for a bi-partisan approach to the bill going forward, that addresses the needs across the spectrum while revamping a future workforce system.

    [For details, see the Opportunity America Coalition letter].

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