Inside This Issue - News
GOP victory puts host of retail issues in play
November 15th, 2010
WASHINGTON – According to the National Retail Federation, an expansive range of issues relating to retailers could be impacted in the aftermath of the 2010 midterm elections, which resulted in Republicans winning control of the House of Representatives and in the GOP narrowing the edge that Democrats hold in the Senate.
One of the biggest issues will be whether to extend Bush-era tax cuts for all taxpayers as supported by Republicans, or only for families making up to $250,000 a year, as sought by President Obama. Without action, tax rates will return to Clinton-era levels on January 1.
The annual tax extenders package, including the renewal of real estate depreciation rules important for retailers, also expired almost a year ago and is still waiting to be renewed.
In addition, the Senate is expected to vote on a China currency bill similar to a measure passed in the House in September that could lead to higher tariffs on merchandise imported by retailers. Senators are also expected to approve an extension of trade preferences programs that are a priority for retailers.
House-passed legislation backed by NRF that would create an Organized Retail Crime unit at the Department of Justice could see a vote as well.
In health care reform, NRF believes the House is likely to take a vote on a repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act health care reform law for the sake of politics.
But the Senate is unlikely to go along, and President Obama would be expected to veto any outright repeal. Retailers may be able to push for action on the size or existence of employer mandate penalties, fine points of eligibility for health coverage, the auto-enrollment requirement and the Form 1099 reporting requirement.
On another retail-oriented issue, the change in legislative control at the federal level is also likely to make it significantly more difficult to achieve additional reforms on credit and debit card swipe fees.