CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
H.R. 4380 is expected to be considered on the floor of the House on Tuesday, July 20, 2010, under a motion to suspend the rules, requiring a two-thirds vote for passage. The legislation was introduced by Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI) on December 16, 2009.
Note: This summary is based on the July 7, 2010, draft manager's amendment of H.R. 4380 posted on the House Ways and Means Committee website.
H.R. 1380 is an omnibus miscellaneous tariff benefit (MTB) package including bills requesting new duty suspensions or reductions that have a House and Senate counterpart, House bills extending expired provisions and Senate bills extending expired provisions. Each individual MTB bill covers a product where there is no domestic production or domestic opposition, costs under $500,000 per year and is administrable by Customs and Border Protection upon entry of the merchandise, according to the House Ways and Means Committee Democrats.
Specifically, H.R. 4380 includes tariff benefits for a wide array of products including, but not limited to: reusable grocery bags, fibers, chemicals, over-the-rage microwaves, plastic fittings and herbicide.
This legislation would be effective on or after 15 days of enactment and would be retroactive to January 1, 2010. Any amounts owed by the U.S. government due to this legislation must be paid within 90 days, if a request is filed with Customs and Border Protection within 180 days of enactment of the Act.
Ostensibly, the reason for MTB legislation is to help U.S. manufacturers compete at home and abroad by temporarily suspending or reducing duties on inputs or finished products that are not made domestically, or where there is no domestic opposition. Such suspensions or reductions can reduce costs for U.S. business and ultimately increase the competitiveness of their products.
Member Concerns: On March 11, 2010, the House Republican Conference voted to adopt a unilateral moratorium on all earmarks, effective immediately. According to the resolution adopted by the Republican Conference and House Rules, a limited tariff benefit—meaning a provision modifying the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the U.S. in a manner that benefits 10 or fewer entities—is an earmark.
Some Members may be concerned that this legislation contains several earmarks as defined by House Rules and that a vote for this bill could be construed as a vote against the spirit of the House Republican earmark moratorium.
According to a preliminary Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate for H.R. 4830, the bill would cost $298 million over 10 years.