As Congress reconvenes today in advance of the mid-term elections, legislative business is likely to be complicated by pre-election posturing, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, which is monitoring a number of bills of interest to the industry.
Major agenda items include an NMMA-backed small business bill that languished before the recess over procedural concerns. The Senate version of this legislation, H.R. 5297, includes an extension of the Small Business Administration Dealer Floorplan Financing Program for three years and would increase SBA loan caps for dealer floorplan financing to $5 million, eliminate SBA fees and make other improvements that will enhance credit availability for floorplans and other business credit.
The legislation also includes more than $12 billion in small-business tax relief, as well as an NMMA-backed Small Business Lending Fund that would make available $30 billion for small business lending.
The Senate is expected to take up the bill for floor votes Tuesday.
Congress probably also will consider a range of Bush-era tax cuts set to expire at the end of the year. President Obama would extend the cuts for those who earn less than $250,000, but Republican leaders are calling for a two-year extension of all tax cuts. The NMMA strongly supports the full extension of existing tax rates.
Congress also will consider permanently extending and strengthening the Research and Development Tax Credit, which NMMA also supports.
Congress will adjourn Oct. 8. Members will return home to campaign.