Rice, Reed take lead in House on extending Work Opportunity Tax Credit

U.S. Reps. Tom Rice (R-SC) and Tom Reed (R-NY) have introduced a bipartisan bill to permanently extend the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, which will otherwise expire at the end of the year.

“Making the Work Opportunity Tax Credit permanent will incentivize employers to hire and retain people who have been struggling to find long-term, meaningful employment opportunities,” said Rep. Rice.

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit is authorized under the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 for new hires before Jan. 1, 2020, according to a fact sheet from the Office of Workforce Investment. The federal tax credit is available to employers for hiring individuals from certain groups who have consistently faced significant barriers to employment, such as veterans or those who have been unemployed on a long-term basis.

The congressmen introduced the legislation, H.R. 2213, on April 10 with lead sponsor U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA). In the Senate, the measure was introduced as S. 978 by U.S. Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Ben Cardin (D-MD).

“We care about rewarding work and ensuring everyone has a fair shot to provide for themselves and their families,” said Rep. Reed. “Providing incentives for employers to hire people stuck on the sidelines who have trouble finding a job is essential for many folks in their pursuit of the American dream.”

Rep. Rice agreed. “With more jobs available than those seeking employment across the country, we need to bring people from the sidelines of the economy into the workforce,” he said.