Daily Tax Update - June 24, 2005

House and Senate highway reauthorization bill conferees agreed yesterday on a deal that would strike the tax title proposed in the Senate version of the bill. Congressional staff confirmed that both sides had agreed that the conference report for the transportation bill (H.R. 3) would cost $286.5 billion in total funding. That amount is slightly larger than the House passed bill, but less than the amount in the Senate bill.

  • Senate Finance Committee Ranking member Max Baucus (D-MT) said it was premature to say what would be needed on the tax title, but the low funding level makes it unlikely any of the major offsets would be needed or accepted by the House.
  • Numerous details remain to be worked out among the conferees before the conference is completed. Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman James Inhofe (R-OK) said, "We're very, very close." The Chairman of the Conference, House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Don Young (R-AK), said, "Nothing's decided." The conferees are continuing their discussions today in an effort to finish by June 30.


  • S. 1292 sponsored by Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) would allow a credit against income tax for expenses incurred in tele-working.
  • S. 1293 sponsored by Rep. Jim Bunning (R-KY) would permit the consolidation of life insurance companies with other companies.
  • S. 1302 sponsored by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) would stop the Congress from spending Social Security surpluses on other Government programs by dedicating those surpluses to personal accounts that can only be used to pay Social Security benefits.
  • S. 1304 sponsored by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) would protect pension benefits of employees in defined benefit plans and direct the Secretary of the Treasury to enforce the age discrimination requirements of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. 
  • S. 1305 sponsored by Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) would increase tax benefits for parents with children.

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