While Washington is rushing to enact COVID-19 funding before the mid-March expiration of enhanced federal unemployment benefits, lawmakers face a host of upcoming policy deadlines that will require congressional action.
House and Senate Democrats hope to address some of these deadlines in the next coronavirus relief bill, but other provisions will be addressed in other legislation later this year.
The most impactful upcoming deadline could be the summertime expiration of the government’s borrowing authority. If Congress doesn’t approve a higher borrowing limit – the federal debt is nearly $28 trillion today – Washington could face a significant credit crisis that could wallop an economy already struggling to rebound from the pandemic.
Below is a summary of key laws expiring in 2021.
CARES Act expanded unemployment insurance.
Extension of Section 3610 of the CARES Act, which allows federal agencies to use their funds to reimburse contractors for paid leave made to employees who are unable to access the worksites and unable to telework during the pandemic.
CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program, which provides small businesses with the resources to maintain payrolls, hire back employees who may have been laid off and cover applicable overhead.
CARES Act Airline Payroll Support Program, which provides assistance to air carriers and eligible contractors and airports.
Medicare sequester suspension, which has halted a 2 percent reduction in Medicare reimbursements to give providers financial relief during the pandemic. Without additional action by Congress, the 2 percent payment cut will go into effect April 1.
Extension and expansion of the Employee Retention Tax Credit, which is a refundable tax credit against certain employment taxes equal to 50 percent of qualified wages an eligible employer pays to its workers.
The federal government’s borrowing authorities.
Fiscal year 2021 appropriations, triggering a government shutdown unless Congress approves stopgap funding or appropriations for fiscal year 2022.
Certain coronavirus relief funds provided to states and localities.
Fiscal year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, which establishes policy and authorizes appropriations for the Defense Department, nuclear weapons programs of the Energy Department, military elements of the intelligence community and defense-related activities at other federal agencies. It has been approved annually by Congress for 60 consecutive years.
Expiration of tax measures/extenders.
- Alternative Fuels/Mixture Credit
• Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Credit
• American Samoa Economic Development Tax Credit
• Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization
• Energy Efficient Homes Credit
• Fuel Cell Motor Vehicles Credit
• Health Coverage Tax Credit
• Indian Business Property Depreciation
• Indian Coal Credit
• Indian Employment Credit
• Mine Rescue Training Credit
• Nonbusiness Energy Property Credit
• Private Mortgage Insurance Deduction
• Racehorse Depreciation
• Renewable Electricity Credit
• Research and Development Expensing
• Second Generation Biofuels Credit
• Two-Wheel Electric Plug-In Credit
• Onshore Wind Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC)
• Onshore Wind Energy Production Tax Credit (PTC)