Congress has adjourned for its summer recess and will not return until after Labor Day. Prior to adjourning, Congress made headway on some important issues, including agreeing in principle to a six-month spending bill that would last until April 2013 and eliminate the perennial fall threat of a government shutdown.
As discussed in this issue, the Senate Finance Committee began the process of extending a number of expiring tax provisions, including the R&D credit and the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind producers. That extenders bill, however, will not be considered until a Lame Duck session.
Congress was unable to reach agreement on a number of other key matters: a cybersecurity bill, reauthorization of the farm bill, and Permanent Normal Trade Relations with Russia as part of its accession into the World Trade Organization (discussed later in this issue). When Congress does return after Labor Day, it will only be in session for approximately 15 legislative days before recessing again in early October to campaign for the November elections. It is all but certain that Congress will return after the elections for a Lame Duck session during which it will face these and a number of significant issues, such as whether to continue the Bush tax cuts and, if so, for whom (see attached PowerPoint).