Markup noticed on bill to exempt all wildfire relief payments from federal income taxes

Today, Congressman Doug LaMalfa announced that the House Committee on Ways and Means has noticed a markup on a disaster tax package that includes LaMalfa’s bill, H.R. 4970 – Protect Innocent Victims Of Taxation After Fire Act, for Thursday, Nov. 2.

The bill was originally scheduled for a markup Oct. 4, but it was postponed due to the vacating of the Speaker. H.R. 4970 will exempt all wildfire relief payments from federal income taxes and is especially time-sensitive given the recently extended Oct. 16 filing deadline.

LaMalfa sent a letter last week to Ways and Means Chairman Jason Smith urging him to reschedule the bipartisan bill for a markup at the soonest possible opportunity.

“I thank Chairman Smith and the Ways and Means Committee for expediting this legislation into this week’s markup,” LaMalfa said. “Congressman Thompson and I worked to make sure that H.R. 4970 was included in this year’s disaster tax package, which will bring tax relief to disaster survivors across the country. This development is good news for Fire Victim Trust claimants.”

According to
Public hearings and markup sessions
Usually the first step in this process is a public hearing, where the committee members hear witnesses representing various viewpoints on the measure. Each committee makes public the date, place and subject of any hearing it conducts.

The committee meetings scheduled for today are available along with other House Schedules. Public announcements are also published in the Daily Digest portion of the Congressional Record.

A transcript of the testimony taken at a hearing is made available for inspection in the committee office, and frequently the complete transcript is printed and distributed by the committee.

After hearings are completed, the bill is considered in a session that is popularly known as the “mark-up” session. Members of the committee study the viewpoints presented in detail. Amendments may be offered to the bill, and the committee members vote to accept or reject these changes.

This process can take place at either the subcommittee level or the full committee level, or at both. Hearings and markup sessions are status steps noted in the Legislative Action portion of Bill Status.

Committee action
At the conclusion of deliberation, a vote of committee or subcommittee members is taken to determine what action to take on the measure. It can be reported, with or without amendment, or tabled, which means no further action on it will occur. If the committee has approved extensive amendments, they may decide to report a new bill incorporating all the amendments. This is known as a “clean bill”, which will have a new number. Votes in committee can be found in Committee Votes.

If the committee votes to report a bill, the Committee Report is written. This report describes the purpose and scope of the measure and the reasons for recommended approval. House Report numbers are prefixed with “H.Rpt.” and then a number indicating the Congress (currently 107).

For more information on bills and resolutions see Consideration by Committee in How Our Laws Are Made.