Interest Groups Try to Catch Payroll Tax Wave

Jeffrey ErnstFriedman | December 15, 2011

Dec 14, 2011 - The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a payroll tax bill (HR 3630) that includes a wide variety of policy riders designed to force a showdown with Senate Democrats and President Obama. The goal is to make Democrats choose between the issues they endorse and others the President has previously threatened to veto.

Republicans were initially against extending the temporary payroll tax holiday until Democrats were able to gain traction in pushing for passage. House Republicans responded by adding a multitude of issues they support to the payroll tax bill. The provisions in HR 3630 include:

Alternative minimum tax “patch” (AMT)

  • Supported by multiple organizations including: American Airlines, Arch Coal, Cliffs Natural Resources, General Motors, Goodyear, the Motor Equipment Manufacturers Association, the National Mining Association, and Xerox

Changing unemployment insurance benefits

  • Supported by the American Bakers Association, the American Staffing Association, the National Federation of Independent Business, and the National Roofing Contractors Association
  • Opposed by the Coalition on Human Needs, MomsRising, and the National Employment Law Project

Accelerating the decision to approve the Keystone pipeline - (HR 1938) | Read the MapLight post on HR 1938
When similar language passed the House earlier in the year, it was:

  • Supported by the American Petroleum Institute, the Association of Oil Pipe Lines, the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association, the National Association of Manufacturers, and United Association
  • Opposed by environmental protection groups such as Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, the National Wildlife Federation, and the Natural Resources Defense Council

Hindering EPA regulations of MACT boilers - (HR 2250) | Read the MapLight post on HR 2250
When similar language passed the House earlier in the year, it was:

  • Supported by the American Chemistry Council, the American Forest & Paper Association, the American Iron & Steel Institute, the American Petroleum Institute, the Association of American Railroads, the Corn Refiners Association, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
  • Opposed by the American Lung Association, the Environmental Integrity Project, and the US Climate Action Network

Blocking cuts in Medicare payments to physicians (known as the doc fix) but reducing Medicare hospital payments

  • Opposed by hospital groups, including the American Hospital Association, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Catholic Health Association of the United States, the National Association of Children’s Hospitals, the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems, and the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems

Removing certain funding restrictions to physician-owned hospitals

  • Supported by the Physician Hospitals of America

Freezing pay of federal workers

  • Opposed by a collection of government unions, including the National Association of Letter Carriers, the National Postal Mail Handlers Union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the International Association of Fire Fighters, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the National Federation of Federal Employees, and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association

Allowing certain contractors and manufacturers to benefit from bonus depreciation for 2012

  • Supported by Associated Equipment Distributors, Lockheed Martin, the National Association of Manufacturers, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Boeing, and the Shaw Group


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