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House passes budget and tax bills

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Washington, December 18, 2015 | Jon Corley (202-225-3706) | comments
U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) voted this week in support of the “Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015” that passed the House by vote of 318-109 and the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016” that passed by a vote of 316-113.

“There are a number of good and important provisions for the country and for our area in these bills,” said Thornberry. “While there are also a number of provisions that I support – and have voted for – that did not survive negotiations, many did.”

Some of the chief provisions include:

Providing essential funding for our military;
Repealing the 40-year-old ban on exporting crude oil;
Limiting EPA funding to its lowest level since 2008;
Repealing the Country-of Origin-Labeling (COOL) law that threatened to harm the beef and other livestock industries;
Extending and then phasing out the wind production tax credit;
Delaying implementation of several provisions and taxes associated with Obamacare; and
Strengthening security of the Visa Waiver Program.

The PATH bill also made permanent over 20 tax provisions that Congress has been extending one year at a time, making it difficult for businesses and individuals to plan. These permanent deductions include:

State and local sales tax deduction, which is important in states like Texas that do not have a state income tax;
Section 179 expensing for small businesses;
The Research and Development Tax Credit;
Charitable deduction for contributions of food inventory; and
Many other tax provisions were extended for two or five years.

Finally, attached to the measure is a cybersecurity bill, similar to that recommended by the Cyber Security Task Force, which Thornberry chaired in 2011 and 2012. 

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