On The Hill

Tax Update (November 12)

Nov 15, 2021 | SHARE  

Bipartisan Infrastructure Package/Build Back Better Act  

Last Friday (Nov. 5), the House passed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Package (BIF), 228-206. There were 13 Republicans who voted for the package and six Democrats who voted against it. The Senate passed the bill back in August and President Joe Biden will sign BIF on Monday (Nov. 15).[1] The package includes a five-year reauthorization of federal highway, transit, and safety programs. Congress passed two short-term extensions of the programs due to delays passing the BIF. 

Originally, the House was set to pass both the BIF and the reconciliation package, also known as the Build Back Better (BBB) Act, on Friday (Nov. 5). However, Moderate Democrats demanded a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score on the BBB Act before voting on it. After negotiations, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) set up a procedural vote on the BBB Act and pledged to pass the package no later than the week of November 15. 

A group of House Moderate Democrats said in a statement that if the CBO information “is inconsistent” with White House estimates on the BBB Act the group remains “committed to working to resolve any discrepancies in order to pass the BBB Act.” On Tuesday (Nov. 9), Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) said that the agreement with Moderates was “not for a CBO score” but rather “additional financial information.” 

On Tuesday (Nov. 9), the CBO released a schedule for releasing cost estimates for the BBB Act. CBO will provide an analysis for the entire bill when “practical” and has begun releasing estimates for individual titles of the bill.[2]

Once the House passes the BBB Act it will head over to the Senate where various changes will occur. Lawmakers have several outstanding issues to resolve including the state and local taxes (SALT) cap provision. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has expressed concern with recent data on inflation and it is unclear if he will delay work on the BBB Act until next year. Democrats cannot lose any votes from their caucus on the package in the Senate.[3] 

Bureau of Labor Statistics 

On Wednesday (Nov. 10), the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the October 2021 Consumer Price Index (CPI) summary that found overall prices rose 6.2 percent from one year ago, which is the largest annual increase in more than 30 years. Additionally, the report found that prices for everything besides energy and food increased 0.6 percent in October after increasing 0.2 percent in September. 

Republicans have criticized the Biden administration for high inflation and claimed they are not doing enough to address the issue. President Biden said, “Inflation hurts Americans’ pocketbooks, and reversing this trend is a top priority for me.”[4]

To view the CPI summary, click here. 


On Monday (Nov. 8), the Government Accountability Office (GAO) publicly released a report entitled, “Opportunity Zones: Census Tract Designations, Investment Activities, and IRS Challenges Ensuring Taxpayer Compliance.” 

Based on Internal Revenue Service (IRS) data, the report states that over 6,000 Qualified Opportunity Funds invested around $29 billion into Opportunity Zones through 2019. The report outlines GAO recommendations for the program. 

To view the report, click here. 

House Ways and Means 

On Tuesday (Nov. 16), the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight will hold a hearing entitled, “The Opportunity Zone Program and Who It Left Behind.” 

To watch the hearing, click here

On Wednesday (Nov. 17), the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade will hold a hearing entitled, “Strengthening the U.S.-Africa Trade and Investment Relationship.” 

To watch the hearing, click here

Senate Finance 

On Tuesday (Nov. 16), the Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing on the nominations of the Honorable Maria Louise Lago, of New York, to be Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade and Lisa W. Wang, of the District of Columbia, to be an Assistant Secretary of Commerce. 

To watch the hearing, click here


[1] “ President Biden to Sign Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Monday.” The White House Nov. 10 2021. https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/11/10/president-biden-to-sign-bipartisan-infrastructure-investment-and-jobs-act-monday/

[2] Swagel, Phill. “CBO’s Schedule for Releasing a Cost Estimate for H.R. 5376, the Build Back Better Act.” CBO, 9 Nov. 2021. https://www.cbo.gov/publication/57601

[3] Nichols, Hans. “Manchin may delay Biden social spending plan over inflation.” Axios, 11 Nov. 2021. https://www.axios.com/manchin-chill-bbb-6b58cd70-6c07-40f9-af4e-c944a7b3a39d.html

[4] Doherty, Erin. “Inflation at its highest in 30 years.” Axios, 10 Nov. 2021. https://www.axios.com/consumer-price-index-october-inflation-60151fa5-0191-4b8b-9c8a-5fc43e1a47ba.html


The Week Ahead

For the main events of the next week and more, go straight to the key events on the house.gov website.

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The Week Ahead

For the main events of the next week and more, go straight to the key events on the senate.gov website.

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