Daily Tax Update - January 23, 2008

CONGRESS AND ADMINISTRATION REAFFIRM COMMITMENT TO STIMULUS PLAN’S BROAD PRINCIPLES:  After a meeting yesterday at the White House, Congressional Democrats expressed agreement with some of the broad principles that President Bush has outlined for an economic stimulus package. The President called for a mix of personal and business tax cuts and said the package should be designed to directly stimulate the economy.   

  • Today, House Speaker Pelosi, House Minority Leader Boehner, and Treasury Secretary Paulson met to try to work out the details of the $150 billion economic stimulus package. Boehner said, “There were no conclusions or agreements" [at today's meeting]. There is really nothing agreed to until everything is agreed to.”
  • House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said, “We are not opposed to giving incentives to businesses, but we very strongly feel that there are people in this country really hurting, and economists, almost to a person, believe that food stamp relief [and] unemployment insurance relief are immediate and effective spurs to the economy.”  
  • House Speaker Pelosi said yesterday, “Whatever it is that we are considering, it must meet that one criterion—does it stimulate the economy, does it put money into the hands of those who will spend it ... to turn the economy around.” Pelosi said that she would consider business tax breaks, “To the extent that they are a stimulus, yes, I am open to those.”
  • As far as the timing for the stimulus package, Pelosi said a stimulus package would be passed “as soon as legislatively possible.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said, “We legislatively have a little more difficult time doing things.” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) added, “Our definition of ‘soon,’ obviously, is in the next few weeks. . .That, by the standards in Congress, is pretty fast.” McConnell said that sending a bill to Bush's desk by the mid-February recess “would be a rapid accomplishment by congressional standards.”

BAUCUS SCHEDULES HEARING ON IRS COMMISSIONER’S NOMINATION:  On January 29, the Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing to consider Douglas Shulman as the nominee for Commissioner of the IRS.   Shulman is Vice Chairman of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Deputy IRS Commissioner Linda Stiff currently serves as Acting Commissioner.

H.R.5085 : To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to expand expensing for small business.
Sponsor: Rep Herger, Wally [CA-2] (introduced 1/22/2008) Cosponsors (None)

S.2539 : A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a special depreciation allowance for certain property placed in service during 2008 and 2009.Sponsor: Sen Specter, Arlen [PA] (introduced 1/22/2008)
Cosponsors (None)

S.2540 : A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code to provide expensing for certain property placed in service during 2008 and 2009.
Sponsor: Sen Specter, Arlen [PA] (introduced 1/22/2008) Cosponsors (None)

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