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Blunt, Senators Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Make Work Opportunity Tax Credit Permanent

Bill Strengthens Federal Effort to Connect Long-Term Unemployed With Jobs

February 08, 2021

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (Mo.), Rob Portman (Ohio), Ben Cardin (Md.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Bill Cassidy (La.), and Bob Menendez (N.J.) introduced bipartisan legislation – the Work Opportunity Tax Credit & Jobs Act – to make permanent the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), which encourages employers to hire individuals who face significant barriers to employment. Currently, the WOTC expires on December 31, 2025.

The WOTC provides an employer tax credit of between $1,200 and $9,600 per employee for hiring and retaining individuals that are part of certain targeted groups representing populations that have a difficult time finding work, or are often out of the labor force altogether. The credit amount is based on the qualified wages paid to those employees within the targeted groups. These targeted groups include: veterans, long-term unemployed, ex-felons, the disabled, summer youth employees, as well as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and Supplemental Security Income recipients.

“Having a job is about more than just bringing home a paycheck - it’s about having pride in your work and confidence in your future,” said Blunt. “Making the Work Opportunity Tax Credit permanent will help get more Americans who have difficulty finding employment into the workforce.”

“Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, now more than ever individuals who are in the shadows are struggling to find meaningful employment,” said Portman. “Encouraging employers to hire those who have the most trouble finding work is good policy, and while securing a five-year extension last year was a positive step, it’s critical that we make the Work Opportunity Tax Credit permanent.”

“The Work Opportunity Tax Credit is one of our best tools to promote the employment of those who find it hardest to get a job. But to be effective employers need the certainty a permanent extension provides and tens of thousands of families in Maryland need to know we have their back from now on,” said Cardin. “That’s why we need to invest in this effective program permanently, to ensure those who need the most help are getting it.”

“Hard work doesn’t pay off like it used to, with too many workers trying but struggling to get ahead,” Brown said. “People can and want to contribute to their communities, and they deserve a fair shot. The WOTC provides that opportunity, and rewards companies for investing in their greatest asset – the American worker.”

“It can be difficult for Americans to find a job when they’re out of the work force," said Dr. Cassidy. “This Work Opportunity Tax Credit permanency bill ensures those struggling to find work are helped by continuing to incentivize businesses to hire them.”

“The COVID pandemic has hammered our nation’s economy, leaving millions out of work and small businesses struggling to survive,” said Menendez. “As we begin to recover from this crisis and build back an economy that works for all Americans, making the Work Opportunity Tax Credit permanent will provide certainty for employers to hire the long-term unemployed, veterans, and others who’ve been locked out of the workforce. We have both an economic interest and moral obligation to ensure that every individual has a fair shot in our economy to work hard, support a family and contribute to our society. Making this tax credit permanent is the smart and right thing to do.”



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