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WOTC Progress on The Hill


On July 24 and 25, 2012, ADP Tax Credit Services accompanied the VP of Government Relations for one of our clients, along with counsel from DLA Piper and the Carmen Group for NEON, on several meetings with members of Congress; in particular members of the Ways & Means and Senate Finance Committees. Various U.S. House Representatives and Senators were in attendance.

From these meetings, we gained insight into some of the members’ expectations as to when the WOTC program, with the Tax Extenders, would be addressed. A consistent element of these meetings was the positive view of WOTC expressed by Congress members. (To quote one member: “WOTC is perhaps the one expired provision that makes sense. It moves Welfare & Food Stamp recipients into jobs in a cost effective manner”).

In one of the most promising sessions, our group met with a high ranking staff member for the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Max Baucus (D-Montana). The staff member indicated that the Chairman is about to initiate a process that will attempt to move the extenders to the Senate floor before the August recess. That is a rather aggressive goal given that the Senate calendar calls for adjournment by Aug. 2. The following day, DLA Piper contacted other members of the Senate Finance Committee and summarized their findings as follows:

The Senate Finance Committee has begun an intensive, bipartisan process that will allow the Senate to move forward on the business tax extenders. This process began a week ago when Chairman Baucus advised his Members that he and the Ranking Republican Member of the Committee, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), have asked their staffs to jointly produce an extender package that could be considered by the Committee as early as this week. Congress will adjourn for its traditional August recess at the end of the week.

Emerging Trends

  • A move towards pushing Tax Extenders to the Senate floor before the August recess is underway.
  • The Senate Finance Committee has begun an intensive, bipartisan process that will allow the Senate to move forward on the business tax extenders.

Indications are that WOTC remains very popular with Senators on both sides of the aisle in the Committee as well as with many of their colleagues who are not on the Committee. More importantly, it is very likely to be included in the Chairman’s proposed extender package. In fact, the linkage between WOTC and the savings achieved by moving individuals from public assistance to private sector jobs has made it one of the most popular extenders under consideration.

It is unclear whether the full Committee will complete action on the extenders this week and Senate floor action before the August recess appears difficult. Nonetheless, the process that is underway in the Finance Committee is a major contribution to the enactment of WOTC and other extenders this year, which all have broad bipartisan support.

We have heard that Chairman Baucus is considering a change in approach – rather than moving forward with a slimmed down extenders package and putting the burden on Members to try and exclude items back, he is considering starting with a full package (probably leaving ethanol out) and giving Members the opportunity to argue that some should be dropped.

This approach is seriously being considered because, among other things, it would not leave Members, whose provisions are potentially at risk, in a politically difficult position should the package not make it through a full mark-up or the Senate floor before the August recess.

All involved staff are working towards a possible release of a mark for today, July 31, 2012. Staff meetings were held throughout Friday and over this past weekend; however, this is all subject to change.

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