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Capitol Hill Progress: Budget and R&D Breakthroughs



Following up on our report from earlier this week, the House and Senate cleared legislation yesterday to avert a looming government shutdown and give lawmakers more time to finalize a budget for Fiscal Year 2024.

  • The stopgap spending measure extends federal agency funding into early March.

  • The Senate vote was 77-18. House passage quickly followed, 314-108, but Speaker Johnson is getting a lot of grief from the right flank.

What’s next: Much work remains to be done to negotiate final spending levels across government programs, including key infrastructure accounts. But there seems to be a will among both parties to get it done.

 

In another positive development, the House Ways and Means Committee approved the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024 (H.R. 7024) by a bipartisan vote of 40 to 3.

 

Why it matters: This is good news for ACEC members, as the bill delays the R&D amortization requirement until 2026 – and is retroactive to the 2022 tax year.

  • Fixing the R&D amortization requirement has been an ACEC priority, as it significantly impacts America’s engineering firms that regularly invest in R&D in the normal course of their business.

  • The impact of the amortization requirement has forced firms to delay hiring, stop taking on new work, and in extreme cases, question whether to remain in business.

H.R. 7024 also delays until 2026 the limits on interest deductibility and full expensing for capital investments.

  • The cost of the legislation is offset with enforcement related to the employee retention tax credit (ERTC) and a bar on new ERTC claims made after January 31, 2024.

What’s next: We are expecting that the full House could vote on H.R. 7024 the week of January 29th.

  • Your Move: We must keep the pressure on Congress to pass the tax deal and fix the R&D issue. Please watch your inbox for a new action alert from ACEC so we can help send this legislation to the Senate. It has been reported the White House supports the legislation.






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