February 14, 2014

Wyden to tackle extenders before tax reform

Feb. 18, 2014 - The new chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., told Bloomberg News he wants to focus on extenders - or expired tax provisions - before he looks at broader tax reform, the goal of former committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont.

Baucus submitted a letter of resignation last week in order to take a new post as ambassador to China, which he was confirmed for on Feb. 6.

Wyden spoke on Bloomberg's "Political Capital with Al Hunt" about his expectations and plans for his chairmanship. As reported, he said, "My hope is that we can get [the extenders] re-enacted promptly ... and then use them as a bridge to more comprehensive reform. My first choice would be to first go to comprehensive tax reform, rather than to have to proceed with the extenders.

"But the reality is when the House leadership last November, in effect, declared that Obamacare was their primary issue, that changed the timetable," he continued. "So I am not going to sacrifice important matters like research and development and innovation on the altar of perhaps some inaction on comprehensive reform."

Wyden also said he would work with Ranking Member Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and other Republicans on issues related to the glitches in the Obamacare website.

NAFCU continues to hear that credit unions' exemption from federal corporate income tax is safe. Still, the association will keep a watchful eye on other changes that may have an impact on credit unions, including through action on the recently expired tax extenders that Wyden plans to address.

One such expired tax extender was a tax break benefiting underwater homeowners who received principal forgiveness mortgage modifications. This is one of the more than 50 deductions and credits that expired at the close of 2013.