Daily Tax Update - July 15, 2005

HIGHWAY, ENERGY CONFERENCES COMPETE FOR TAX-WRITING CHAIRMEN'S ATTENTION:
The Conferees to the energy bill met yesterday for the first time. Certain of the tax provisions in the separate bills are similar. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas (R-CA) said, "The Senate oftentimes parallels in the separate bills that wind up in conference. There are provisions that are in the highway bill that are also in the [energy bill]."

  • With respect to the Highway bill, there is a framework that has been agreed to for approximately $286 billion in spending, but no details have been released. According to Chairman Thomas, "The conceptual structure is established." The conferees are hopeful to complete deliberations by July 19, but another extension may be necessary.
  • House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) added, "Compromises are being made in some key areas. I am optimistic a conference report will be ready maybe even next week, but it will certainly be ready in the next two weeks."
  • Regarding the energy bill conference, Thomas said, "I know I speak for my colleague, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. We will carry out the necessary accommodations and compromises to produce the revenue for the bill that will get a presidential signature on the conference report -- and we will do so in a way that you will not be waiting for us." Thomas added, "There's never enough money for what we want and there probably isn't enough money for our needs."

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