Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that the Tax Reconciliation bill was scheduled for a vote on Friday April 7th but on the evening of April 6th Republican conferees could not reach agreement about the $70 billion cuts and, as a result, the bill was pulled for consideration and no vote was taken. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., told reporters that the bill was highly complex and a number of issues remain to be worked out and that the tax bill would not be addressed until lawmakers return from a two-week recess.
Included in the House version of the Tax Reconciliation bill is the provision which would extend 936 tax credits to American Samoa for one year. Also included in the House version is language which would direct the Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Finance Committee to develop a long-term policy for American Samoa. While the Senate version does not include a 936 extension for American Samoa, conferees are committed to working out a compromise that includes short and long-term solutions for American Samoa.
“Although American Samoa is just a very small part of the $70 billion tax bill, I am pleased that our support remains intact,” Faleomavaega said. “Both the Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees are fully aware of our needs and I am also in close contact with Mr. Dave Burney, Executive Director of the US Tuna Foundation, who represents the interests of both canneries.”
“During these sensitive conference negotiations, my office has also remained directly engaged with StarKist and Chicken of the Sea and we are in agreement about what we have presented to the conferees. I also met with the Governor during his last visit to Washington DC and he supports our efforts. While we still have a ways to go, I will continue to keep our people updated as this matter progresses,” the Congressman concluded.