Both chambers of the U.S. Congress have passed a 10-year, $622 billion tax-break package, along with a $1.1 trillion spending bill, that includes suspension of the 2.3 percent excise tax on medical devices.
The House voted 318-109 on Dec. 17. The Senate gave its 65-33 approval the next day in a rare Friday vote after uncharacteristically speeding up floor action and cutting off debate, under pressure to wrap up action for the holiday recess.
President Barack Obama was expected to sign both pieces of legislation into law.
The package includes decades of tax credits that have been continually extended but never made permanent, some of which are popular with the plastics industry, such as an expanded tax credit for investments in research and development, bonus depreciation credits, and the two-year delay in implementing the medical device tax. The plastics industry is also expected to see long-term benefits from the legislation's permanent extension of Section 179 small business expensing at $500,000, an incentive to purchase new equipment.
“The U.S. Senate voted today to deliver a huge benefit to America's economy by passing several key tax measures,” said Bill Carteaux, CEO of the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. in a news release. “Combined, these provisions help ensure that businesses throughout the plastics industry value chain can invest with certainty and keep the U.S. on the cutting edge of economic growth and technological innovation.”