February 2024 Federal Legislative Recap

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January started off with promise, but February looked a lot more like the Congress of 2023. The House and Senate managed to avert another shutdown by passing yet another short-term extension on February 29. The new extension is set to give them until March 8 and 22 to pass the 2024 budget. The goal is to pass six appropriation bills by March 8, then work on the appropriations for the rest of the government. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau’s (TTB) budget is covered through March 22, but don’t delay getting your label and formula approval submissions in. The first few months of a new legislative session tend to focus on appropriations for the next fiscal year, a process made more difficult when the budget for the current fiscal year still hasn’t passed.

The bipartisan tax compromise between the Democrat-led Senate Finance Committee and the Republican-led Ways and Means Committee, known as the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024 has hit a snag. After a strong bipartisan vote in the House, the legislation has stalled in the Senate. Senate Republicans want to get support for the legislation from the majority of their caucus, which would require changes to the child tax credit section of the bill, something that House and Senate Democrats staunchly oppose. The legislation, which also holds tax benefits for small businesses, is on a tight timeline for passage due to the proposed retroactive tax benefits. All parties are expressing their willingness to pass the bill, but the clock is ticking. Breweries can find more information about the tax legislation here.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced that he would be stepping down from leadership in November of 2024, but will serve out his Senate term through January 2027. McConnell, who was elected to the Senate in 1985, is the longest-serving Senate leader in history, first taking over as the Republican party leader in 2007. The race to replace McConnell will not be an easy one, with John Thune (R-SD), John Cornyn (R-TX), and Steve Daines (R-MT) all expected to run.

The Credit Card Competition Act, bipartisan legislation that would require the largest credit card issuing financial institutions in the country to enable the use of at least two unaffiliated credit card networks to process credit card transactions, picked up additional cosponsors in the Senate with Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) signing on in support.

Cheers to Rep. David Valadao (R-CA-22) who joined the House Small Brewers Caucus in February!

Check out the Brewers Association’s (BA) legislative resource that lets you see what state and federal legislation we are monitoring, and what issues we support and oppose.

Don’t forget to sign up for the Brewers Associations 2024 Hill Climb, June 11-12 in Washington, D.C.

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