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The bill would authorize spending of approximately $8.1 billion on transit projects through 2015 while legislators plan a long-term bill that could have implications for the pharmaceutical industry.
The House voted 312-119 on July 14, 2015 to authorize spending for the Highway Trust Fund until the end of 2015. The deal proposes to inject approximately $8.1 billion into transit improvements in the short-term while legislators continue work on the details of a long-term plan involving the proposed repatriation of approximately $2 trillion held offshore by US companies, many of which include large pharmaceutical companies that have corporate tax havens overseas.
The long-term deal would rely on the repatriation of US businesses-including many in the pharmaceutical industry-to fund improvements in the country’s transportation and highway system. On a statement on his website, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan supported the initiative, saying “the Senate should move quickly to adopt this extension-without any unrelated measures-so that we can provide some certainty and get to work on a multi-year plan.” A long-term, multi-year plan would require a few months to develop, Ryan said on the House floor, Reutersreports.
A bipartisan working group suggested in early July that US companies with corporate homes offshore should be able to repatriate funds at a rate lower than the current corporate tax rate. The group claims that while the Treasury Department’s recent anti-inversion policies have dissuaded continued inversions, more widespread tax reform is warranted.