(Bloomberg) — The House adopted a $622 billion measure to revive dozens of business and individual tax breaks — making some of them permanent — ahead of a vote Friday on a companion plan to fund the U.S. government and lift the ban on crude oil exports.
The vote Thursday was 318-109. The House and Senate plan to take final votes on the tax and spending bill Friday before leaving Washington for the holidays. President Barack Obama has announced his support for the plan, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Thursday she will vote for the spending measure although she opposed the tax-extension plan.
“Finally with this tax bill, families and businesses are going to get the long-term certainty that they need,” House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, told reporters during a news conference before the vote.
What Your Peers Are Reading
Congress has repeatedly extended the group of several dozen tax breaks for one or two years at a time. The measure adopted Thursday would make a number of them permanent, including those for business research and development, small business expenses, individual deductions for state and local sales taxes, and financing rules for multinational corporations. Also to become permanent are an enhanced child tax credit and earned income tax credit, as well as tax breaks for charitable giving and schoolteachers’ expenses.
The move “will deliver predictability, clarity and certainty for individual taxpayers as well as people managing businesses and trying to invest for the future,” House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, a Texas Republican, said before the vote.
Backing the measure were 241 Republicans and 77 Democrats, while three Republicans and 106 Democrats opposed it.
The wind energy production tax credit would be extended for five years, a move sought by Democrats. The plan also would continue tax breaks for racehorse owners, motorsports facilities — the so-called “NASCAR tax break” — and some charitable contributions.
The tax measure would suspend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) 2.3 percent tax on medical devices through 2017. The spending plan also would delay the so-called Cadillac plan tax on high-cost health insurance plans from 2018 to 2020, and it could eliminate $13.9 billion in 2017 PPACA health insurer tax obligations.
The tax proposal is the first of a two-part deal reached by congressional Republican and Democratic leaders this week. The House plans to vote Friday morning on the $1.1 trillion spending plan, which includes an end to the 40-year-old ban on exporting crude oil from the U.S. The Senate then will vote Friday on the full package, H.R. 2029.
Pelosi said during a news conference Thursday that while she’ll support the spending measure, other Democrats plan to oppose it.