As stimulus debate rages, senators agree on beer tax cuts

Lawmakers are still divided along partisan lines on how or whether to carry out another round of economic stimulus before the end of the year, but one issue has the support of most senators: the cuts in the economy. ‘taxes on beer, wine and spirits.

A bipartisan group of 57 senators sent a letter to the Senate leadership on Tuesday calling for a permanent extension of an excise tax cut for brewers, winemakers and distillers in any final legislation before Congressional breaks for the year. The bill extending the tax cut, which was originally passed in the 2017 tax overhaul, has 77 Senate sponsors and 351 House supporters.

Without an extension, levies will increase on January 1, 2021, potentially hurting an already struggling industry, lawmakers have said.

“Producers have already seen dramatic declines in income due to closures of tasting rooms and restaurants, bars and other establishments on site and cancellations of major sporting events and concerts,” the letter said.

Passing the extended alcohol excise tax cut likely hinges on Congress’ ability to quickly reach agreement on stimulus legislation that has stalled since the summer. A $ 908 billion bipartisan compromise proposal was unveiled on Tuesday that would include more money for small business loans, help to local governments and an extension of unemployment benefits.

The plan has yet to garner support from House and Senate leaders, and lawmakers are expected to negotiate to include the beer tax reduction extension in the package. Congress also faces a December 11 deadline to pass a government funding bill to avoid a federal shutdown.