“Here to Christmas:” Will Congress extend its Dec. 16 funding deadline? After a leadership meeting at the White House, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer declined to say whether he’d push for a short-term spending bill or a year-long deal. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is still mulling whether to strike a deal with Democrats. Other lawmakers are signaling that they need more time to reach an agreement on how to fund the government and avoid a shutdown. Sen. Richard Shelby, the top Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee, told reporters, “we might be here to Christmas.” Echoing that possibility, Democratic Sen. Chris Coons indicated a week-long continuing resolution seems likely.
No debt limit talk. One item left off the agenda at that meeting: A lame-duck effort to extend the nation’s debt limit for at least two years. Many Hill Democrats want to address the issue but getting it passed by year’s end would be challenging at best and some key party leaders prefer to spend the limited time remaining on other issues.
TIGTA: IRS stopped a cyberattack in May. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration reported this week that IRS controls to prevent ransomware attacks generally were effective. In May, the IRS identified suspicious web traffic patterns consistent with ransomware and removed a computer from its network, preventing an attack.
Texas state lawmaker wants to tie business tax subsidies to abortion decisions. Republican state Rep. Jared Patterson would prohibit businesses from receiving tax subsidies if they help employees get abortions outside of Texas. The state has banned nearly all of the procedures.
European Union discovers $2.3 billion in VAT fraud. The investigation triggered raids in 14 countries, including France, Germany, Greece, and Spain. Over 600 people are involved in what the EU calls the “biggest VAT carousel fraud ever investigated” in the union. The probe started 18 months ago with a small case involving a Portuguese company that officials suspected was avoiding its payments of value-added tax. That led to the discovery of about 9,000 companies that claimed fraudulent VAT reimbursements, sold products online to funnel revenues offshore, or laundered money. Authorities say several highly skilled organized crime groups were involved,
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