The U.S. House of Representatives voted today 297-120 in favor of a fiscal year 2020 domestic spending bill (H.R. 1865) that includes provisions that would retroactively renew the $1 per-gallon biodiesel tax credit and extend it through 2022. The “minibus” now heads to the Senate, which is expected to consider the measure on Thursday. The President has until midnight Dec. 20 to sign the spending bill, thus avoiding a government shutdown.
A tax package to revive tax extenders was added to the minibus in the early morning hours of Dec. 17 during the House Rules Committee’s markup of the year-end spending deal after Congress and the White House came to an agreement on how to fund the government for the remainder of fiscal year 2020.
Inclusion of the biodiesel tax credit at this stage of the process represents a positive sign for NATSO members and the entire fuel marketing community, which has operated amid significant market uncertainty since the tax credit lapsed at the end of 2017.
Considering the fluidity of the negotiations between lawmakers in recent days, however, NATSO continues to urge members of the Senate to vote in favor of the minibus.
Among the bill’s many provisions, the package as approved by the House also included a reinstatement of the oil spill liability tax that expired at the end of 2017. The oil spill liability tax would not be retroactive but instead would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.
Of interest to travel center operators, a section of the spending package will increase the minimum age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21 across the country. Within 180 days of the bill’s enactment, the Department of Health and Human Services must issue a final rule that changes all references to the minimum age to purchase tobacco products in the Federal Code from 18 to 21. A final rule must go into effect within 90 days from when it is published.
Of note, among the provisions that did not make it into the House-passed bill was an extension of the $7,500 electric vehicle tax credit.
The House also advanced a second package by a vote of 280-138 that was a four-bill national security minibus, H.R. 1158.
NATSO will continue to update its members as the 2020 fiscal spending bill advances.
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