WASHINGTON (11/26/13)--The U.S. Congress is in recess during this short Thanksgiving week, but the Credit Union National Association is preparing to continue its work on tax reform and other issues once legislators return.
House members are scheduled to return on Dec. 2, and their target 2013 adjournment date is Dec. 13. Members of the Senate are set to return to Washington on Dec. 9. The Senate has not set a target adjournment date.
Senate tax reform documents released last week addressed international tax reform, tax administration and tax accounting rules, but not credit unions. However, additional components that would round out a broader reform effort, could be released before the end of the year, CUNA Senior Vice President of Legislative Affairs Ryan Donovan said.
"The next steps are not immediately clear, but to a large extent the immediate future of tax reform is linked pretty closely to the outcome of the budget conference committee, the debt ceiling and (to a lesser extent) the appropriations process," Donovan added. He said the House seems to be waiting to see the results of budget discussions between Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) before it acts on tax. The budget conference committee has a "deadline" of Dec. 13.
A budget agreement, if reached, could result in the setting of targets, guidelines or instructions for tax-writers to follow in reform legislation. An agreement might also facilitate bi-partisan agreement on key areas of tax reform, Donovan said. "Of course, that scenario is still a long shot with just a few weeks to go in the legislative year," he said. The House will likely wait until early 2014 to take any action on tax reform.
Other items CUNA continues to watch include:
- Senate housing finance reform legislation that could be introduced in December and marked up in January or February;
- The Innovation Act of 2013 (H.R. 3309), which could be considered by the House by the end of the year;
- The Credit Union Share Insurance Fund Parity Act (H.R. 3468), which could be a candidate for the suspension calendar before the end of the year; and
- The Privacy Notice Modernization Act of 2013 (S.635), which could be considered in the Senate before the end of the year.