February 8, 2021 – In a press release on February 8, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) introduced bipartisan legislation – the Work Opportunity Tax Credit & Jobs Act – to make permanent the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC).
This is not the first time the group of Senators have advanced such a bill. But the press release indicates that the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic makes such a change more compelling. Senator Menendez said, “The COVID pandemic has hammered our nation’s economy, leaving millions out of work and small businesses struggling to survive. As we begin to recover from this crisis and build back an economy that works for all Americans, making the Work Opportunity Tax Credit permanent will provide certainty for employers to hire the long-term unemployed, veterans, and others who’ve been locked out of the workforce. We have both an economic interest and moral obligation to ensure that every individual has a fair shot in our economy to work hard, support a family and contribute to our society. Making this tax credit permanent is the smart and right thing to do.”
Typically, this kind of bill is simply a way for Senators to indicate their support for a certain policy and to provide other Senators an opportunity to agree with them by co-sponsoring the legislation.