The Promise of a Tax Package and More Debt Talk

Congress/Debt Limit/Tax

The House was in recess this week, but the Senate was in session and ABMA attended several fundraisers for Republican and Democrat Senators. In discussing issues with these policymakers, it was clear that both sides are laser focused on the debt ceiling issue. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen announced last week that the U.S. could default on its debts as early as June 1 if Congress does not act to raise or suspend the nation’s borrowing authority. Inaction on this issue would plunge markets into turmoil and wreak untold economic chaos—a point that Senators we met with clearly understand, but a path forward to a Congressional solution is not yet apparent. The House has passed legislation raising the debt ceiling by $1.5 trillion, but the measure also includes spending reductions and policy provisions that will not secure enough votes for passage in the upper chamber. President Biden is convening House and Senate leaders for a meeting on May 9 to discuss the issue and try to find some common ground. 

On a positive note, Senators expressed optimism that Congress would come together on a tax package—likely in the fourth quarter this year—that would include extensions of 100 percent bonus depreciation, full expensing of research and development costs in the year in which they are incurred, and interest deductibility. Known in D.C. tax advocacy circles as the “tax trifecta,” most of the business community is lobbying this issue aggressively, as is ABMA including our current advocacy campaign on bonus depreciation legislation. We will keep you apprised of our progress.  


Last week, the Ranking Member of the House Education and Workforce Committee (Bobby Scott D-VA) and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) introduced the National Apprenticeship Act of 2023. This bipartisan bill invests more than $3.85 billion over 5 years to increase access to registered apprenticeships, youth apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships. The proposal is estimated to create nearly 1 million new apprenticeship opportunities on top of the current expected growth of the apprenticeship system.

Similar legislation passed the House last year by a vote of 247-173 but did not move through the Senate.  Provisions were also included in a larger package of China-related competition provisions in the America COMPETES Act, which also did not become law.