WASHINGTON (10/8/13)--While the pace of business in Washington, D.C. has slowed to a crawl as a result of the massive furloughs of federal workers, the U.S. Congress continues to work--by and large on budget issues. In fact, National Public Radio this morning noted that few, if any, members of the House and Senate have furloughed staff.
The Credit Union National Association is closely monitoring the situation, in part to assess what impact the budget impasse might have on tax reform legislation.
The issue of tax reform is not over for this session of Congress, CUNA Executive Vice President of Government Affairs John Magill reminded on Monday.
"The original October deadline for a tax reform proposal may not be met, but that does not mean that tax reform is dead. It just means the mid-October deadline may be pushed back to a mid-November deadline," Magill said.
"Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and House Ways & Means Committee Chair Dave Camp (R-Mich.) have said they will release a bill--and nothing has changed that," Magill added.
Debt ceiling discussions and other issues could indeed put a vote on tax reform legislation off until next year. However, CUNA Senior Vice President of Legislative Affairs Ryan Donovan said the debt ceiling debates and legislation could be used to set up a framework for how tax reform could proceed through Congress. "That could expedite things," he added.
In fact, Donovan said the current 90% disapproval rating that Congress now faces "is unsustainable." And, with all of the U.S. House and one-third of the Senate facing reelection in the 2014 mid-terms, many in Congress may want to demonstrate that they can craft and pass legislation once this current impasse has ended.
As tax reform legislation continues to loom, it is still vital for credit unions to advocate for their tax status, Magill and Donovan said. During CUNA's and the state credit union leagues' "Don't Tax My Credit Union" online rally last week (see resource link), Donovan said tax status advocacy is "a long game," but urged credit unions to get their message out now, while policy is being crafted.
CUNA continues to encourage credit union supporters to use the various "Take Action" tools at www.DontTaxMyCreditUnion.org to show their support via tweets, pictures, vine videos, and emails to their members of Congress, all with the #DontTaxMyCU hashtag.