In the Senate today, a test vote narrowly advanced a bill to extend long-term unemployment benefits, with Democrats refusing to compromise and Republicans accusing them of political posturing.
In a January 5 Fox News Channel interview, New York Republican Congressman Peter King claimed that Senator Rand Paul tells “absolute lies” with respect to NSA surveillance of Americans, concluding of the Kentucky Republican that “he doesn't deserve to be in the United States Senate for spreading that kind of misperception and — absolute lies — to be honest with you.”
At the stroke of midnight on December 31, 55 popular tax breaks expired, adding further uncertainty for millions of businesses and individuals across the country. The Associated Press notes that this is a pattern seen virtually every year, where Congress permits the tax breaks to lapse only to renew them later, retroactively, just in time for taxpayers to claim them by the time they file their returns. Unfortunately for the businesses and individuals impacted, this pattern makes it difficult to plan ahead, and may not be guaranteed.
Already facing “pariah” status worldwide due to onerous IRS requirements, millions of Americans living and working abroad are preparing to deal with a deluge of even bigger problems in 2014, when a byzantine new tax regime starts going into effect. Known as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA, the deeply controversial and incredibly complex scheme is supposedly aimed at preventing tax evasion and gathering extra funds for the federal government. In reality, it will prove to be devastating, experts say — especially for middle-class Americans overseas and the U.S. economy.
Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) voted against the NDAA, noting that it retained the indefinite detention provisions of past versions.