WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. mining industry is spearheading a lobbying effort to protect a $160 billion pandemic tax break after congressional Democrats largely repealed the provisions in their recent stimulus bill, according to emails and a letter seen by Reuters.
The tax provision folded into the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in March has been criticized by Democrats and public advocacy groups as a stealth giveaway for the wealthy. Its exact provenance in the legislation and which interested parties advocated for it remain unclear.
On Monday, more than 70 industry associations wrote to Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Republican-led Senate finance committee on taxation and his Democratic counterpart Ron Wyden, raising concerns that “some in Congress are seeking to reverse these changes” and urging the senators to leave them in place.
“The tax and liquidity provisions in the CARES Act are helping to ensure that the severe economic situation created by COVID-19 do not become even worse,” the groups wrote.
While that letter was signed by more than 70 groups representing industries from farming and architects to banks and insurers, it was drafted and organized by the National Mining Association (NMA), according to emails seen by Reuters.