December 20, 2019 – On Tuesday of this week the House passed H.R. 1865 (116), a spending package to fund the government through September 30, 2020 by a vote of 297-120. The Senate passed the measure by a vote of 71-23 on Thursday. The package will boost funding for the departments of Transportation, Education, Health and Human Services, Agriculture and Housing and Urban Development. It would also fund the departments of Interior, Labor, State, Veterans Affairs and Energy, as well as water projects, the FDA, congressional operations and military construction work.
Included in the bill is the extension and retroactive renewal of expired and expiring tax provisions including the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), the Indian Employment Credit (IEC), paid family and medical leave (FMLA) credit and the Federal Empowerment Zone tax credit (FEZ) through December 31, 2020. Also included is a retention tax credit for employers who retained employees during periods of inoperability caused by federally declared disasters in 2018 or 2019.
The spending bill includes a $2.5M increase in WOTC funding for FY 2020. The increase in funding will help with the states’ administration of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit.
The President has stated that he will sign the bill into law on Friday before government funding expires at midnight to avoid a government shutdown.