Tuesday August 14, 2018
Bipartisan Budget Bill
With a Senate vote of 71 to 28 and a House vote of 240 to 186, a two-year budget bill for the federal government passed on Friday, February 9. The bill expands federal spending by over $300 billion during 2018 and 2019.
The compromise increases federal spending caps by $143 billion this year and $153 billion in 2019.
The Department of Defense budget is increased by $80 billion this year and $85 billion in 2019. Domestic spending expands by $63 billion this year and $68 billion in 2019.
The domestic spending increases this year are targeted in specific areas. $10 billion will be spent on roads, bridges, waterways and other infrastructure. This bill designates $3 billion to be used to reduce the number of lives lost due to the opioid epidemic.
Congress allocated $2 billion to help rebuild Veterans Administration hospitals. Another $2 billion is allocated to training programs for police officers, teachers and firefighters.
Following the devastation of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, approximately $90 billion will be allocated toward disaster relief in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
The bill also restores many energy tax credits. There is a five year tax credit renewal for fuel cells, small wind energy projects and geothermal hot pumps. Tax credits for 2017 were restored for electric vehicles, biofuel and home energy-efficiency improvements.
The debt limit is suspended until March 2019. This places the next debt limit vote after the November elections.
Published February 9, 2018
2018 Tax Filing Season Opens
Disabilities and Hurricanes Lead to Larger EITC
California Mudslide Relief
IRS Warns of Scam Targeting Tax Professionals
2018 Filing Season Starts January 29