Even after working overtime through the weekend, there is still no indication that the House and Senate have reached a compromise to extend the solar investment tax credit (ITC).
Last week, the Senate reached historical bipartisan agreement on extending the ITC and providing other critical measures for the industry. On Friday, the House passed the tax-credit extensions and related items.
However, despite a statement from the White House indicating that it supported and would sign the Senate's bill – and a subsequent statement suggesting that the president would likely veto a House bill containing revisions – the House meddled with the Senate version, adding pay-fors that are unrelated to the renewables portions of the legislation.
In turn, stalemate is in the air in Washington. The House's revisions have set up a battle with Senate leadership – a battle that might not be waged and drawn to a conclusion before a congressional recess or, more importantly, before the ITC expires at the end of the year.
The Solar Energy Industries Association's Monique Hanis told Solar Industry Friday afternoon that the organization remains ‘optimistic’ that a tenable, veto-proof compromise could be reached before Congress breaks for election season. In particular, Hanis cited legislators' widespread – and bipartisan – support for aggressive renewable-energy policy as an indication that a deal could be reached.
But for the moment, the ITC has once again stalled in the Capitol, despite support from both chambers of Congress.