Daily Tax Update - April 21, 2009

RECONCILIATION ISSUE HOLDS UP BUDGET RESOLUTION CONFERENCE:  Today, Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad said that House and Senate budget resolution conferees are trying to resolve the “thorny issue” of whether to include reconciliation instructions in the final budget resolution bill. When asked if including reconciliation language in the final bill was a hurdle for completing the conference, Conrad said, “Reconciliation was never intended for this purpose, and it doesn’t work well. It was never intended for this purpose, and I think there would be a lot of unintended consequences.” Reconciliation would protect health care reform, and possibly other bills, from being filibustered in the Senate, thereby allowing the bill to pass with a simple majority instead of 60 votes.

  • House Democratic leaders and President Obama support including reconciliation instructions in the final budget resolution. The House budget resolution version contained reconciliation language, while the Senate version did not.
  • Conrad said, “I would say it’s a challenge; it’s a challenge. I don’t think this was the purpose for which reconciliation was originally devised. There are many problems that it creates in trying to write substantive legislation. So I would much prefer that we not have reconciliation instruction in this resolution.”

JOINT COMMITTEE ON TAXATION CHIEF OF STAFF ANNOUNCES HIS DEPARTURE:  Edward Kleinbard announced that he is leaving the Joint Committee on Taxation effective May 15. It is not clear who will serve as acting chief of staff. It has been reported that Kleinbard will join the faculty of the University of Southern California Gould School of Law.

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