We've all been hearing about the "Fiscal Cliff", which refers to the combined effect a number of policies would have on our economy beginning in January 2013. These policies include the expiration of tax cuts, tax increases, spending cuts and deficit reductions. According to the Congressional Budget Office, lower deficits and debt over time improve long-term economic growth, but there's an increased risk of recession if the deficit is reduced suddenly. There are many pending policies that have been referred to as part of the "Fiscal Cliff", and POPVOX is highlighting a few that have been introduced in the past two years. Keep checking back as we update this list to reflect the new bills Congress may introduce in response to the "Fiscal Cliff"!
Legislation Related to the "Fiscal Cliff"
Expiring Bush-era Tax Cuts from 2001 and 2003
- S 3412 The Middle Class Tax Cut Act (Sponsor: Sen. Harry Reid): to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide tax relief to middle-class families. (Passed the Senate; pending before the House.)
- S 3413 The Tax Hike Prevention Act (Sponsor: Sen. Orrin Hatch): to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to temporarily extend tax relief provisions enacted in 2001 and 2003, to provide for temporary alternative minimum tax relief, to extend increased expensing limitations, and to provide instructions for tax reform.
- HR 8 The Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act (Sponsor: Rep. David Camp): to extend certain tax relief provisions enacted in 2001 and 2003, and to provide for expedited consideration of a bill providing for comprehensive tax reform.(Passed the House; pending before the Senate.)
Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) Not Adjusted to Inflation
- HR 3747 The Permanent AMT Relief Act (Sponsor: Rep. Nita Lowey): To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to increase the alternative minimum tax exemption amount and index such amount for inflation.
- S 3420 The Permanent Tax Relief Act (Sponsor: Sen. Mike Lee): to permanently extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, to provide for permanent alternative minimum tax relief, and to repeal the estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes.
- S 3521 The Family and Business Tax Cut Certainty Act (Sponsor: Sen. Max Baucus): to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend certain expiring provisions.
2% Social Security Payroll Tax Cut Expiration
Expected to be introduced soon. Would extend a payroll tax holiday for 160 million Americans.
- Budget Sequestration: automatic, across-the-board cuts to federal spending to take effect on January 2, 2013 — if Congress does not act on further deficit reduction. The Sequestration requires $109 billion annually in federal spending cuts, resulting in a 9.4% reduction in defense discretionary funding and an 8.2% reduction in nondefense discretionary funding.
Expiration of Emergency Unemployment Benefits
Unemployment insurance benefits expected to expire for two million people on Dec. 29.
Medicare Payments to Doctors Reduced
- HR 5707 The Medicare Physician Payment Innovation Act (Sponsor: Rep. Allyson Schwartz): to reform Medicare payment for physicians’ services by eliminating the sustainable growth rate system and providing incentives for the adoption of innovative payment and delivery models to improve quality and efficiency.
- S 3337 The Access to Physicians in Medicare Act (Sponsor: Sen. Rand Paul): to provide for the elimination of the Medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula to ensure access to physicians’ services for Medicare beneficiaries.
Affordable Care Act Takes Effect
- HR 1370 Provider tax repeal (Sponsor: Rep. Charles Boustany): to repeal the annual fee on health insurance providers enacted by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
- S 1880 The Jobs and Premium Protection Act (Sponsor: Sen. John Barrasso): to repeal the health care law’s job-killing health insurance tax.
- S 17 The Medical Device Access and Innovation Protection Act ( Sponsor: Sen. Orrin Hatch): to repeal the job-killing tax on medical devices to ensure continued access to life-saving medical devices for patients and maintain the standing of United States as the world leader in medical device innovation.
Please keep in mind that highlighting a bill doesn't imply a POPVOX endorsement in any way. Rather, we're simply trying to offer one more way to stay informed of an overwhelmingly complex legislative system.