House approves slate of tax breaks

The House on Wednesday passed a one-year renewal of more than 50 tax breaks that expired at the end of 2013, putting the measure on a path toward President Obama’s desk.

Passed 378-46, the measure would extend nearly all of the tax breaks until just the end of this year, at a cost of almost $42 billion. The dissenting votes were close to evenly split between Democrats and Republicans.

In advance of the vote, Democratic tax writers in the Senate had been pushing for their preferred two-year extensions of the tax breaks.

But a spokeswoman for Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) all but declared on Wednesday that the Senate would have to take the House bill, after House Republicans rejected what she called a “reasonable, balanced deal” over the weekend.

That followed the White House and House Democrats essentially saying that the one-year deal is better than a broader agreement being sought last week.

“We are disappointed that at this point there doesn’t appear to be a procedural path forward,” said spokeswoman Lindsey Held.

The list of incentives extended by the House included popular credits for both corporate America and individuals, like incentives for business research and others that help school teachers and distressed homeowners. Other incentives in the package are more controversial, particularly a tax credit prized by the wind industry.

House Republicans turned to the one-year extension after talks between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) over the broader deal broke down following a veto threat from President Obama. <more>

Dec. 3, 2014 The Hill