Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) planned today to attach a tax cut for businesses that hire veterans to H.R. 674, which, on its own, would repeal the 3% withholding tax.
The veterans jobs bill, dubbed the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, would provide a tax credit to businesses that hire unemployed veterans that were discharged in the last five years and provide an additional tax cut to companies that hire veterans with service-related disabilities. H.R. 674 would eliminate the imposition of a 3% withholding requirement on all government contracts starting in 2013, and pay for such a repeal with a readjustment to last year's Affordable Care Act, also known as "Obamacare" or simply the health care reform bill.
Each piece of legislation enjoys heavy support on a partisan basis; the veterans jobs bill is a democratic proposal and the 3% repeal a republican one. Support from each proposal's originating party is firm.
Ideologically speaking, the tax cut for businesses that hire veterans is firmly in the republican wheelhouse, but it's something that would, at least theoretically, increase the deficit, anathema to republican legislators swept into office by the Tea Party. Meanwhile, democratic support for a repeal of the 3% withholding tax has been strong, but several party members aren't wild about paying for it by taking a swipe at the party's signature legislative achievement.
Coupling these two bills together, each with its own partisan pedigree, could potentially give democrats more of a reason to support the 3% repeal, and republicans more of a reason to support the veterans jobs bill.
Only time will tell. The vote is scheduled for 5:30pm EST.
Stay tuned to NACM for more updates.
Jacob Barron, CICP, NACM staff writer