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Lawmakers Eye SECURE 2.0 Retirement Bill in Lame Duck, Debt-Limit Deal Unlikely

Lawmakers in both the House and Senate are continuing to push to include bipartisan retirement legislation in an end-of-year package. The proposals being negotiated into a final package, known collectively as SECURE 2.0, include the Senate Finance Committee’s EARN Act, the Senate HELP Committee’s RISE & SHINE Act and the House-passed Securing a Strong Retirement Act. Key provisions likely to be part of the final package include the doubling of the startup tax credit for new small business 401(k) plans, a new tax credit to help with employer matches, expanding automatic enrollment and allowing employers to match student loan payments with tax-favored 401(k) contributions.

The push to raise or suspend the debt limit in the lame duck session has lost momentum as several Democrats have expressed little interest in the reconciliation process. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) has asserted that Democrats don’t have time in the lame-duck session for a reconciliation process for this issue due to crowded agenda. Majority Leader Schumer has said his preference would be to get the debt limit raised this work period through a bipartisan deal. However, Minority Leader McConnell says the more likely scenario is that Congress revisits the issue sometime next year.