After a rocky start to the new Congress with 15 votes taken on the floor to elect a Speaker, the 118th has begun with Speaker Kevin McCarthy swearing in Members this week. An important development occurred on Wednesday when Republican members of key, top tier committees were announced. Those key panels are the Ways & Means, Appropriations, and Energy & Commerce Committees.
On the Ways & Means Committee, Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO-8) won a three way race to become the new Chairman. He beat out Vern Buchanan (R-FL-16) and Adrian Smith (R-NE-3) to take the gavel. Buchanan was seen as the favorite to lead the tax writing panel until this fall, when Jason Smith gained ground. Many of the new Republican Members of the committee are from high SALT (state and local tax) states, which could signal a push this year for repeal of the $10,000 cap on the SALT deduction-a priority for Republicans and Democrats from high tax states. The 10 new Republican members are:
- Rep. Mike Carey (OH-15)
- Rep. Randy Feenstra (IA-04)
- Rep. Michelle Fischbach (MN-07)
- Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01)
- Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11)
- Rep. Blake Moore (UT-01)
- Rep. Michelle Steel (CA-45)
- Rep. Greg Steube (FL-17)
- Rep. Claudia Tenney (NY-24)
- Rep. Beth Van Duyne (TX-24)
The House Appropriations Committee, which holds the pen on all spending bills, also added 10 new Members of Congress, many hailing from the Construction Suppliers Association region. They are:
- Rep. Stephanie Bice (OK-05)
- Rep. Jerry Carl (AL-01)
- Rep. Juan Ciscomani (AZ-06)
- Rep. Michael Cloud (TX-27)
- Rep. Andrew Clyde (GA-09)
- Rep. Jake Ellzey (TX-06)
- Rep. Scott Franklin (FL-18)
- Rep. Michael Guest (MS-03)
- Rep. Jake LaTurner (KS-02)
- Rep. Ryan Zinke (MT-01)
On the House Energy & Commerce Committee, which leads on environmental, energy, and trade issues among others, these 10 Republican Members of Congress were added, again many from the CSA region.
- Randy Weber (R-TX)
- Rick Allen (R-GA)
- Troy Balderson (R-OH)
- Russ Fulcher (R-ID)
- August Pfluger (R-TX)
- Diana Harshbarger (R-TN)
- Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA)
- Kat Cammack (R-FL)
- Jay Obernolte (R-CA)
The Senate is in recess until the week of January 23. At that time, the full Senate will take up an organizing resolution which will set committee ratios and committee rosters. We will provide an update on new Members of key Senate committees at that time.
The first legislative item that the Republican-controlled House of Representatives acted on this week was ABMA supported legislation rescinding funds provided to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as part of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) to ramp up IRS tax collection efforts. The Family and Small Business Taxpayer Protection Act (H.R. 23) passed on a party–line vote (221-210). If enacted, the bill would claw back the following line items in the IRS budget that the IRA appropriated to the IRS through Sept. 30, 2031:
- $45.64 billion for enforcement activities.
- $25.33 billion for operations support, which encompasses administration activities, information technology development and telecommunications.
- $403 million for the Inspector General for Tax Administration.
- $105 million for the Office of Tax Policy.
- $153 million for the U.S. Tax Court.
- $50 million for departmental offices within the Treasury Department.
The bill would also rescind $15 million that was appropriated through Sept. 30, 2023 for the IRS to develop a task force to design a free, agency-run tax return e-filing system.
Although it passed the House, H.R. 23 is dead on arrival in the Democrat-controlled Senate. This is a trend that we will be seeing often in the 118th Congress, with legislation passing either the House or the Senate, but very few items making it through the legislative process to the President’s desk. Nevertheless, there will be a few “must pass” items this Congress, and ABMA is on hand advocating our policy priorities to be included in these legislative vehicles.