The House of Representatives voted to revive dozens of lapsed U.S. tax breaks for this year and set them to expire again on Dec. 31.
The 378-46 vote today would provide $42 billion in temporary relief to taxpayers, including companies that rely on the research tax credit and the production tax credit for wind energy. It provides no certainty for 2015, though lawmakers said the one-year extension was the best available option after a broader deal collapsed.
“This is a short-term fix when Congress needs to work toward a long-term solution,” second-ranking House Democrat Steny Hoyer of Maryland said during floor debate. Hoyer said he was voting for the measure although “it isn’t what I hoped for.”
The bill now heads to the Senate, where Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden has complained that it excludes tax breaks for the health care of laid-off workers and the purchase of plug-in electric motorcycles. Wyden also would prefer a bill that would continue breaks through 2015.
Lindsey Held, a spokeswoman for Wyden, said Republicans rejected a “reasonable, balanced” proposal Nov. 30.
“We are disappointed that at this point there doesn’t appear to be a procedural path forward,” she said.
President Barack Obama said today that the administration is open to a short-term extension. He hasn’t said whether he would sign the House bill.
The tax breaks, which ended Dec. 31, 2013, aid businesses and individuals. Corporations including Citigroup Inc. and General Electric Co. would benefit from the ability to defer U.S. taxes on overseas financing income. Companies making capital purchases would have faster writeoffs.
Individuals who sold their homes for less than what they owed would be able to exclude the forgiven debt from income.
The House vote came about a week after lawmakers abandoned efforts to reach a larger deal on reviving tax breaks that would have exceeded $400 billion over a decade.
That bipartisan plan, which was being negotiated by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, would have locked in some benefits including the research tax credit by removing their expiration dates.
Most of the other breaks would have been extended through 2015.
The talks fell apart when Democrats, including Obama and Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew, objected to the lawmakers’ plan not to revive an extension of tax credits for low-income and middle-income families.
Obama threatened to veto the emerging proposal.
The tax-break bill, H.R. 5771, will be combined with a Senate bill, H.R. 647, to create tax-advantaged accounts for disabled people.
Such accounts “will give those individuals a chance to realize their hopes and their dreams, to be able to be part of the American dream,” said Representative Ander Crenshaw, a Florida Republican, during floor debate.