Wyden: No path forward on tax breaks

Source: By Bernie Becker, The Hill • Posted: Thursday, December 4, 2014

enate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) has all but acknowledged that the House’s one-year extension of expired tax breaks would become law, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Wyden and other Democrats on his panel had been seeking a two-year extension of dozens of tax breaks that expired at the end of 2013.

But less than two hours after the House overwhelmingly approved its plan, Lindsey Held, a spokeswoman for Wyden, said “we are disappointed that at this point there doesn’t appear to be a procedural path forward.”

Held said that House Republicans had rejected what she termed a “reasonable, balanced deal” over the weekend that would have indefinitely extend the credit for business research and other provisions for two years.

The House passed its bill to restore the tax breaks until the end of this year by a 378-46 margin on Wednesday, even as practically all involved said the deal did little more than avoid the disaster of letting the incentives stay expired. The White House has also suggested it can get behind the plan.

House Republicans turned to that approach after President Obama, with the help of Wyden and other congressional liberals, undercut a broader deal that was being crafted by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.).

A House GOP aide confirmed Wednesday night that Wyden sent Ways and Means a counteroffer over the weekend. The aide said that Camp sent a counteroffer on Monday, but never got a response.