The WOTC Journey on Capitol Hill
As efforts to extend WOTC kick into high gear, new traction from President Obama’s American
Jobs Act – in which WOTC is specifically mentioned – has served to add some steam
to the venture. Remember that the original WOTC extension bill, H.R.
2082, was introduced earlier this year by Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL). This
bill seeks to, among other things:
- Extend WOTC for three (3) years through December 31, 2015.
- Introduce “Alternative Certification” for specific WOTC categories.
- Reestablish the “Unemployed Veteran” and “Disconnected Youth” qualification categories.
Earlier this month, President Obama introduced the American Jobs Act. While
this is a far reaching tax cut and spending measure, the proposal does extend or increase
certain provisions of WOTC:
A new credit of 40 percent of the first $6,000 of wages (up to $2,400) for employers
who hire veterans who have been unemployed at least 4 weeks.
A new credit of 40 percent of the first $12,000 of wages (up to $4,800) for employers
who hire veterans who have been unemployed longer than 6 months.
Maintain the existing Work Opportunity Tax Credit for veterans with service-connected
disabilities (currently the maximum is $4,800).
A new credit of 40 percent of the first $24,000 of wages (up to $9,600) for firms
that hire veterans with service-connected disabilities who have been unemployed longer
than 6 months.
As the President’s proposal is just that, a proposal, it is up to Congress, both the
House and Senate, to take up the issue and propose actual bills that could become
law. Indeed, that is exactly what has happened. In the Senate, Majority
leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has introduced the President’s proposal as S.1549,
and Representative John Larson (D-CT), the House Democratic Caucus Chairman, has introduced
an identical bill in the house called H.R.
12. (House bills between 11 and 20 are reserved for important Democrat legislation).
So now there are two bills in Congress that require WOTC to exist to achieve their
goals, and we have the original WOTC extension bill in the House. The likeliest
outcome from all of the machinations is that none of these bills will pass in their
current forms. They will undoubtedly be debated and modified as time passes.
However, WOTC is now front and center in the President’s most recent effort to spur
job growth, and by extension, the economy. These three bills will proceed in
parallel on their individual paths to, one hopes, being enacted as law.
This weblog is sponsored by TALX.