The Hardwood Federation produces a “D.C. Cheat Sheet” newsletter to keep the industry up-to-date on the latest news from Washington D.C. Check out the October 6th edition below and sign up to receive your copy.
Wisconsin Senator Introduces Reliable Rail Service Act
On September 27, Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) introduced the Reliable Rail Service Act, a bill to help untangle supply chain bottlenecks plaguing the hardwood industry and other shippers around the country. The bill aims to codify requirements that rail carriers provide service to a broad swath of users, including the hardwood sector, “on reasonable request.” While a path forward for the bill is limited this year, the legislation lays down an important marker to be picked up in 2023 when a new Congress convenes and considers measures to re-balance the nation’s supply chains.
“Lame Duck” Congress Will Look at End-of-Year Tax Breaks
One of the agenda items for Congress after the election will be to consider extension of a variety of tax breaks that are due to expire on December 31. This includes 100 percent “bonus depreciation of equipment,” a tax break enshrined in the tax reform law of 2017 that incentivizes investment in sawmills and other manufacturing facilities. Momentum for an end-of-year tax package is building, especially as industry groups including the National Association of Manufacturers send letters urging Congress to act when they return after the mid-term elections.
Congress Hits Campaign Trail
With only 33 days left before Election Day, Congress has left the capital and hit the campaign trail. While the Senate originally had scheduled a two-week session for October, on September 29, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) canceled the session and informed colleagues that the chamber would not convene again until November 14. The House, on the other hand, has never been scheduled for an October session and is also expected to convene November 14. The Hardwood Federation will keep you posted on agenda items in the “lame duck” session, including a possible tax package (see above) as details emerge.
Source: Hardwood Federation