Gavel Down: Closing Out the Week in Congress: Dec. 14-18

3 min read

A staggering amount of policy made its way through the Capitol Hill maze  — impacting everyone and every sector of the economy. The $1.1 trillion Omnibus Spending bill and the $625 million Tax Extenders package passed early Friday morning. The House and Senate then adjourned, bringing the first session of the 114th Congress came to a close.


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The $1.1 trillion package passed Friday morning. The “bus” carried bills with levels and conditions on spending for operations and programs across the federal government, including: many “policy riders”, the intelligence authorization bill, the Cybersecurity and Information Sharing bill (CISA), reauthorization of health benefits for 9/11 responders, repeal of the ban on crude oil exports, and much more.


Omnibus Vote Breakdown - House

How did your Representative vote?


Omnibus Vote Breakdown - Senate

How did your Senator vote?


Tax Extenders Package

This year’s “Tax Extenders” package, not only continued many of the deductions and credits that are usually renewed each year, it actually made some of them permanent, in addition to changes to some Treasury Department (and IRS) policies.

Permanent provisions include: the Child Tax Credit, earned income tax credit, teacher’s out of pocket expense deduction $250/yr), mass transit benefits excluded from income (same as parking benefits), state and local sales tax deduction (for people who don’t pay state income tax), the Research and Development (R&D) credit,  wage credit for employers of active duty military, 15-year straight-line cost recovery for qualified leasehold improvements (restaurant and retail), section 179 property expensing, 100% exclusion for gains on small business stock, low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC). Read more about the full package.


How did your Representative and Senator vote?


Adjourning “Sine Die”

When the House and Senate gaveled down on Friday, they adjourned “sine die” (from the Latin “without day”), ending the first session of the 114th Congress. They will reconvene in January to begin the second session.

Bills currently pending in Congress will carry over into the next year; the 114th Congress closes at the end of 2016 (when we will have speculation about a potential post-election “Lame Duck” session.)


Legislative Lowdown




Weekend Reads

The Bipartisan Index by The Lugar Center and Georgetown University

Give Puerto Rico Bankruptcy Protections by Bill de Blasio and Bob Buckhorn, Bloomberg

An Environmental Policy Primer for the Next President by Diane Katz, The Heritage Foundation

Parenting in America, PEW Research Center
The Paris Climate Pact Will Need Strong Follow-Up, The New York Times Editorial Board