Congress is poised to finish its appropriations for the 2020 fiscal year with a $1.4 trillion catch-all spending bill that needs to become law by midnight Friday to keep the government running. As is often the case with omnibus spending legislation, a number of provisions have been included that will impact businesses.
H.R. 1865 passed the House of Representatives Tuesday night, and is expected to get Senate approval before the week ends. President Donald Trump has indicated that he will sign it.
Here’s a look at some of the key provisions.
The bank is an independent federal agency that helps U.S. businesses with their exports by guaranteeing loans, but the bank’s charter expired Sept. 30. The appropriations bill includes reauthorization for the agency through 2026.
NJBIA has joined the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and other business groups urging reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank. New Jersey, and particularly its manufacturers, relies on exports as a significant source of income and economic growth.
Over the past 19 years, the Ex-Im Bank has supported nearly $450 billion in exports from thousands of mostly small- and medium-sized companies, and helped support over 2.5 million American jobs.
The bill also would repeal three taxes imposed as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA): the 40% excise tax on high-end health insurance plans, a 2.3% tax on medical devices, and a fee on health insurance plans in 2021. The taxes were enacted to offset the cost of the ACA, but the 40% excise tax increase has never taken effect. Congress voted twice to delay it, and under current law, the tax would take effect in 2022.
Employee Savings Plans
The bill would also expand businesses’ access to open multiple employer plans (MEPs) by including the proposed SECURE (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement) Act. In short, the act would make it easier for employers to pool their employee savings plans to cut down on administrative costs.
According to an article by PlanSponsor, MEPs have been around for years, but have always required plan participants to be linked to each other somehow, such as located in the same area or working in the same industry.