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Fall Legislative Activity

The U.S. Congress is currently back in session with a full plate of legislative activity to act on before the end of the year. Two key pieces currently being debated in Congress are regarding the Build Back Better agenda introduced earlier this year by the White House. As part of that legislative package, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, often referred to as the bipartisan infrastructure bill, focuses primarily on “hard infrastructure” such as roads, bridges and physical infrastructure.

The second major piece of legislation currently being negotiated is the Build Back Better Act, a “soft infrastructure” package which would be a major investment and restructuring of the U.S. tax code to boost spending on a multitude of issues ranging from lowering of prescription drug prices to early childhood education. Together, they represent both a physical and human investment in infrastructure in the United States.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act
While the U.S. Senate approved the legislation with bipartisan vote at the end of August, the House has not yet brought the measure up for full consideration. The $1.2 trillion package includes $550 billion in new federal investments in infrastructure over five years, the largest, new investment in transportation and infrastructure in nearly half a century.

The package includes new funding for roads and bridges, money for transit and rail, broadband upgrade to improve the nation’s broadband infrastructure, updating airports, ports and waterways, funding for electric vehicles, improvements in power and water systems, and paves the way for increased environmental remediation.

If approved by the House, it would head to the President’s desk for his signature into law.

You can read more about the bill here.

The Build Back Better Act
Both the U.S. Senate and House are discussing the bill but have not yet voted on the package. It contains spending on several programs over 10 years, includes free community college, childcare assistance, Medicare expansion, extended child credit, paid family and medical leave, reduced prescription drugs, and climate change provisions.

The U.S. Senate and House are currently negotiating the cost and scope of the package before they move forward on a floor vote. Negotiations over this package in the House are closely tied to passing both of these bills together.

You can read more about the package here.

Proposed New IRS Reporting Requirements
The IRS recently released new tax information reporting rules that would require every American with a bank account (including those in the small business community) to track and submit information to the IRS on money going in and out of every account above a de minimis threshold of $600 during the year. While the goal of the new rule is intended to target tax dodgers, it is not only costly, but cumbersome to meet. It would impose unintended consequences on small employers in the operation of their businesses.

The NASE joined a coalition of trade associations in signing a letter of opposition to this proposed new reporting rule sent to Members of Congress. The proposal is costly and unfair for our community, and we strongly oppose this new reporting regime.

You can read the letter to Congress here.

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Courtesy of NASE.org
https://www.nase.org/about-us/media-relations/News/nase-in-the-news/2021/10/28/fall-legislative-activity