Will The Senate Advance an Infrastructure Bill Today?

The $579 billion question. Heads up: There are lots of legislative balls in the air as the Senate is due to hit Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s deadline for a test vote on a bipartisan infrastructure bill today. Senate GOP negotiators say they still are working out details of a deal and will not vote to debate the legislation until they see an actual bill. They want Schumer to delay today’s vote. But Democrats, who fear Republicans are only stalling, want to be ready to move a bill quickly. And some progressive House Democrats would just as soon see the bipartisan bill die so they can try to pass a bigger bill. 

Sen. Wyden introduced Small Business Tax Fairness Act yesterday. As expected, Sen. Wyden introduced legislation to overhaul the Tax Cuts and Job’s Act 20 percent pass-through deduction. The bill would make it easier for middle-income services business owners to claim the deduction by removing industry-specific restrictions and by simplifying the rules. The bill would establish a single threshold for determining who is eligible and one definition of qualified business income for all taxpayers. It also would phase out the tax break for people earning more than $400,000. It may find its way into a Democrats-only social spending bill later this year. 

Problem: Some in the environmental justice movement oppose a carbon tax. TPC’s Howard Gleckman explains the opposition from influential advocates on the political left. Many doubt that a carbon tax would address hyper-local environmental issues, others are concerned about what they say is the regressive nature of a carbon tax, and still others demand that tax revenue be distributed to low-income communities. Howard concludes that “those objections can be addressed, but only if [President] Biden and other Democrats try.”

A tax on commercial space tourism? Oregon Democrat Rep. Earl Blumenauer plans to introduce a bill that would charge excise taxes on commercial space flights that aren’t focused on scientific research. Blumenauer argues that “Space exploration isn’t a tax-free holiday for the wealthy. Just as normal Americans pay taxes when they buy airline tickets, billionaires who fly into space to produce nothing of scientific value should do the same, and then some.”

Automakers soon may like manufacturing in Mexico a little less. The Mexican government wants to raise taxes by 1 percent of its gross domestic product next year. Part of that effort, reports Bloomberg, would eliminate tax incentives for automakers. Raquel Buenrostro, head of the Mexican tax authority, says it’s time to end provisions like the “zero rate” that allows global automakers to demand refunds on the value added taxes they pay.

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