House GOP’s end-of-year tax bill gets biodiesel, railroad tax breaks tacked on

Source: By Colin Wilhelm, Washington Examiner • Posted: Wednesday, December 19, 2018

House Republicans on Monday added extensions for biodiesel and renewable fuel tax credits to to an end-of-year tax bill, adding to a legislative package that already overhauls retirement savings, makes technical corrections to the GOP tax law, and allows religious leaders to more actively participate in politics without threatening the nonprofit status of their organization.

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, added the extensions of biodiesel and renewable fuel tax credits, as well as a provision to make a railroad track maintenance tax break permanent.

The underlying bill was already updated last week to repeal or delay different taxes related to the Affordable Care Act, also referred to as Obamacare. Those Obamacare provisions were added after several other tax break extensions were taken out.

Brady told reporters last week that the end-of-year bill was estimated to lower revenues by $80 billion over 10 years.

Senate Democrats have signaled for weeks that they’d be unlikely to sign on to an end-of-year tax bill, which has become an annual tradition in Washington.

Democrats remain reluctant to vote for corrections to technical errors made in the drafting of the GOP tax overhaul law during the speedy process in which congressional Republicans passed it over the course of a handful of weeks. Republicans need Democrats to support the Brady bill for it to become law, as several Democratic votes would be necessary to break a filibuster in the Senate.

The new tax bill bill, if passed into law, would also provide certain tax relief items for victims of natural disasters and expand the types of education that section 529 savings plans could be used for.

A vote for the bill has not yet been scheduled, but the House Rules Committee holds a hearing on the bill tonight, a necessary step for consideration before the entire House of Representatives this week.