The House Budget Committee assembled the bill. The budget panel assembled the many committee measures into a single bill yesterday. The House Rules Committee is likely to send the measure on to the full House today or tomorrow. The House is still aiming to pass the bill and send it to the Senate by the end of the week.
Unsticking the minimum wage. The most controversial item in the House bill is its proposed increase in the minimum wage to $15/hr by 2025. Democratic leaders are looking to compromise by phasing the increase in more slowly or targeting a lower top wage of $11 or $12.
US Supreme Court won’t block release of Trump financial records to New York prosecutors. In a one-sentence unsigned order, the high court allowed Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance to enforce a subpoena for former President Trump’s tax records and financial statements since 2011. The Court first ruled in July that a president was not immune from criminal investigations such as Vance’s but Trump appealed yet again, objecting to the specifics of Vance’s subpoena.
Biden Administration will prioritize PPP loans. The White House announced yesterday that for 14 days starting tomorrow, only businesses with less than 20 employees will be able to apply for Paycheck Protection Program loans. New guidance also clarifies that noncitizen small-business owners who hold green cards or are in the US on a visa can obtain PPP loans. The White House also eliminated restrictions that prevented business owners with prior nonfraud felony convictions or who are delinquent on their federal student loans from receiving loans.
Biden isn’t picking up support for his OMB pick. Neera Tanden, Biden’s choice to head the Office of Management & Budget, does not appear to have enough votes to win Senate confirmation. Over the weekend, Democrat Joe Manchin opposed her and yesterday two possible Senate Republican votes—Mitt Romney and Susan Collins—also gave their thumbs down. Given Manchin’s opposition, Tanden’s nomination would fail without at some GOP support.
Is the GameStop stock trading debacle bullish for a financial transaction tax? Progressive Democrats have been pushing hard for such a levy but President Biden has been reluctant. He may give them a study, which is far from support but better than nothing. CNN reports that the White House may back an analysis of the merits of a tax on certain types of financial transactions. In 2018, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that a 0.1 percent tax on stock, bond, and derivative transactions could raise $777 billion over a decade, though TPC estimates it would raise only about half that much.
Texas gets a tax day reprieve. The IRS has delayed the federal income tax filing deadline for Texas until June 15 in response to recent winter storms. Some accountants and tax preparers have been urging the agency to delay tax day for all filers given the ongoing pandemic, but the IRS has so far stuck to April 15.
Will Massachusetts levy a soda tax? A state senator has filed a bill to tax soda and other sugary drinks. Beverages with 7.5 to 29 grams of sugar would face a 1 cent per ounce tax, while drinks with more 30 grams of sugar or more would face a 2 cents per ounce tax—or 24 cents for a can of soda. Beverages with fewer than 7.5 grams of sugar would be exempt from the tax. Revenues would fund public health.
Today on the Hill… IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig will appear today before the House Appropriations Oversight hearing on the agency. The Senate Finance Committee will consider Biden’s nomination of Adewale Adeyemo to be Deputy Secretary of the Treasury.
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