This week Congress finished its work for the year by passing a two-bill package that will avoid a government shutdown and extend several expiring tax provisions. President Trump signed each of the bills on Friday, Dec. 20.

Among the highlights, the “Omnibus” bills would:

  • Provide $1.4 trillion to fund federal discretionary programs through Sept. 30, 2020, with roughly half of the amount going to defense programs and $1.375 billion available for “border barriers” sought by the Trump Administration
  • extend through May 22, 2020:

– several expiring Medicare, Medicaid, and other public health programs

– the Community Health Centers fund

– current levels of “disproportionate share” hospital payments

– the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program

– the Child Care Entitlement grant program

  • also extend through Sept. 30, 2020, the National Flood Insurance Program
  • extend through Dec. 31, 2020 expiring tax provisions affecting:

– individuals (relating to mortgage debt forgiveness, mortgage insurance premiums, medical expense deductions, and qualified tuition deductions)

– businesses (relating to the Work Opportunity tax credit, the Family and Medical Leave tax credit, empowerment zones, and lower excise tax rates for beer, wine, and distilled spirits)

– energy (relating to biofuels, fuel cells, electric vehicles, and energy efficient homes and buildings) ($39 billion budgetary impact)

  • extend for two years:

– a higher level of Medicaid funding for Puerto Rico and other territories

– the Secure Rural Schools Program

  • extend for seven years:

– the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program

– the Export-Import Bank

  • extend for ten years the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund
  • include permanent changes to law that would:

– repeal three revenue provisions from the Affordable Care Act – the medical device excise tax, the annual fee on health insurance providers, and the “Cadillac tax” on high cost health coverage – with a projected cost of $377 billion in lost revenue

– establish disaster relief tax provisions ($12.5 billion in lost revenue over ten years)

  • provide new authority to:

– raise the legal age to purchase tobacco products to 21

– transfer federal funds to the UMWA pension plan ($5.8 billion over 10 years)

– automatically reenroll individuals with health exchange plans if a new plan is not selected