House lawmakers will reconvene this morning to begin a busy day of legislative business. In addition to legislation authorizing appropriations for U.S. intelligence operations and a resolution holding key administration officials in contempt of Congress, Democratic leadership has queued up a bipartisan bill that would repeal the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) so-called "Cadillac” tax. Designed to curb incentives for employers to provide particularly generous health benefits, the 40 percent excise tax has been a target for repeal by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
By passing the bill under suspension of the rules, House Democrats can circumvent the need to either offset revenue or waive the PAYGO rules – requirements that have thwarted a long-term fix on the Cadillac tax for years. Assuming the bill does pass the lower chamber, it remains to be seen if the House bill will be brought up by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for a vote. However, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) indicated yesterday that passing the Cadillac tax repeal bill without an offset could help give him a legislative vehicle to potentially bring additional tax extenders provisions to the Senate floor.
In the upper chamber, Senators will consider three protocols that would amend the tax conventions with the Swiss Federation, Japan, and Luxembourg respectively. The Senate will also take up the nomination of Clifton Corker to be a District Judge for the Eastern District of Tennessee.