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Tax & Assurance Guidance

Insights from Washington: Infrastructure Bill

Posted on November 16, 2021 by

Sarah Russell

Sarah Russell

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As expected, President Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Monday, November 15.  He also signed an executive order establishing a task force to lead coordination and implementation of the law. As mentioned previously, the Infrastructure Bill does not contain significant tax provisions other than the early termination of the Employee Retention Credit and reporting requirements related to cryptocurrency.

Now that the work on this bill is complete, Congress can get back to President Biden’s second signature piece of legislation, the Build Back Better Act (BBBA). House Democrats are hoping to try yet again to pass this piece of legislation, but a push from centrists to get a full accounting of the bill’s cost from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) before voting may require another delay. The CBO has said its full cost estimate of the bill may not be ready until Friday, November 19 which could push a House vote to the weekend or later.

Once the legislation passes the House it will head to the Senate where it is expected to have an even more difficult time passing. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said it will likely be several weeks before the bill is brought to a vote by the Senate.

Once the bill passes the House, the Senate parliamentarian will need to go through the bill to ensure it can pass under the reconciliation process without a filibuster. Senators plan to begin meeting with the parliamentarian this week to debate whether key components of the bill have a budgetary effect, called the ‘Byrd Bath’.

On Sunday, November 14 Schumer said, “on a bill of this magnitude, this process takes time and patience. Timing of consideration of the BBBA in the Senate will largely depend on when the House sends us the bill and when the CBO finalizes their scores for all of the committees, which are needed to complete the ‘Byrd Bath’ process.”

Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema continue to oppose portions of the current legislation. It is widely expected additional changes will be made to appease these two in order to pass the legislation.  What types of changes will occur remains uncertain at this time. What we do know is there is a limited amount of time left for work to be done before the end of the year and Schumer has asked Democrats to “keep your schedule flexible for the remainder of the calendar year.”

We will update you with any new developments in next week’s blog. If you have any questions, please contact us.

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Sarah Russell

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As the leader of the firm's tax group, Sarah supports growth-driven domestic and international businesses with tax planning, consulting and compliance.

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