A Joint Measure to Fund the Government and Raise the Debt Ceiling

The debt limit game is on.  Congressional Democrats decided to roll up a debt limit increase, emergency disaster relief, and funding for much of the rest of government through Dec. 10 into a single bill, essentially daring Republicans to oppose so much popular spending. Democrats warned that failure to pass the measure could destabilize global financial markets, shutter key federal health services during a pandemic, and block assistance to families in need after recent storms. Republicans say raising the debt limit is the Democrats’ problem. It still is 10 days before a government shutdown could occur and a month to six weeks before the government can no longer borrow. Much posturing will ensue. 

Biden won’t negotiate. The White House says the president will not negotiate spending concessions to get the support of GOP senators for the debt package. Biden aides say GOP threats are akin to political blackmail. But Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell has yet to ask for concessions. One former GOP aide calls it hostage taking without a ransom note. 

Will the House pass the infrastructure bill next week? Speaker Nancy Pelosi promised a vote by Sept. 27 but House progressives say they will vote “no” until the Senate agrees to a massive social spending bill. But there is no chance that will happen by next week. Democratic leaders concede the public works bill won’t get a vote until October. Privately, some aides admit it might be December.  

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to confront Amazon founder Jeff Bezos over Amazon’s tax record. Johnson will have a face-to-face meeting with Bezos to express concerns surrounding international corporate tax rates for tech giants. In July the world’s leading economies agreed to ensure the largest companies, including tech firms like Amazon, collectively pay at least $100 billion a year more in taxes, with more going to the countries where they do most of their business.

Save Sept. 28 for a webinar on voter registration at tax time. The Brookings Institution will host the webinar to discuss a new report, “Voter Registration at Tax Time: Evidence of Efficacy, Approaches to Implementation.” TPC’s Vanessa Williamson and Rep. Bonnie Watson Colman will discuss barriers to voter registration and ways to ease them. Colman has introduced legislation allowing voters to register when filing their taxes, an idea tested  by Vanessa. Read about growing interest in combining voter registration and tax filing here, and a research report on the Filer Voter experiment here

Trump Organization’s former CFO expects more indictments, given newly found tax documents. Investigators found tax documents in an alleged co-conspirator’s basement, and former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg expects additional indictments. Manhattan prosecutors have already charged him with alleged tax evasion. Weisselberg and the Trump Organization may be on trial by late August or September 2022. 

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