Omnibus talks appear on track, though COVID-19 aid remains unresolved

The bipartisan leadership of the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees on Monday agreed to a package of trade sanctions against Russia that would, among other things, ban imports of Russian oil and suspend normal trade relations with Russia. and Belarus, which would increase customs duties on goods. of these nations. A spokesman for Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, the commerce bill’s main sponsor, said it would be a stand-alone bill and not part of the omnibus.

It was not immediately clear what the fate of several tax-related provisions in the omnibus talks would be, despite pressure from House Ways and Means to add a bipartisan set of retirement savings provisions. One of the complications is that adding a tax title to the package would open it up to calls to add other tax provisions.

In an attempt to spur the ways and means effort, leaders of the Insured Retirement Institute, a trade group of asset managers, life insurers, banks and other retirement policy stakeholders, are expected to meet with lawmakers virtually on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Companies and some lawmakers are also pushing to restore the immediate and full burden of research and development costs to the omnibus, but change didn’t seem likely to materialize on Monday.

Despite bipartisan support, the reinstatement for the last quarter of 2021 of the employee retention tax credit, which provided pandemic relief largely to small businesses and nonprofits, has also faced a surge. in power.

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