Wyden maintains narrow hope for longer extenders bill 

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) says he has not abandoned efforts to enact a longer renewal of expired tax breaks than the House-passed bill that would renew the so-called tax extenders through the end of the year.

Wyden said he continues to discuss the issue with fellow committee Democrats and others on both sides of the Capitol. He has long pushed for an alternative to the one-year House bill, which he says would not provide necessary certainty for businesses and individuals because the collected tax credits would expire again come January. The package reinstates more than 50 tax breaks, including the renewable energy production tax credit (PTC) and incentives for biofuels and energy efficiency.

Pointing to Friday’s positive jobs report for November, which showed that the economy had added 321,000 jobs, the largest one-month addition in nearly three years, Wyden said a longer extenders package would build on that progress. But he acknowledged that it was a long shot, given the limited amount of time remaining in the year.

“I’ve made it clear that it’s hard to see a procedural path forward,” Wyden said. “But if you take a look at the economic news of last week, where things were starting to pick up a little bit, it’s clear if you provide some predictability and certainty that it would be possible to encourage the kind of investment that would cause those more encouraging numbers to grow.”

The Senate is scheduled to adjourn Thursday and still has to act on yet-to-be-released legislation to fund the government past then and the annual defense authorization bill, which contains a massive and controversial package of public lands bills.