At this hour the House of Representatives has just passed HR 8, The American Taxpayer Relief Act, by a vote of 257-167. The bill includes provisions to dodge the fiscal cliff on taxes and postpones for two months the across the board spending reductions required by the Budget Control Act. The package includes extension of New Markets Tax Credits for 2012 and 2013 at $3.5 billion in annual credit authority. This extension represents a substantial victory for the New Markets Tax Credit Coalition, its members and partners. As the 112th Congress took office, Bloomberg Reports released a damaging, and mostly inaccurate, report on the NMTC. That report came at a very bad time with a new Congress coming to town, bent on reducing the size and scope of the federal government. The 112th Congress, one of the most conservative in recent memory, is now about to hit the exits and as it does so it is voting on legislation that includes an NMTC extension. In between the time Congress came to Washington in January, 2011 and tonight we have all worked hard on a common goal: sustaining and extending the NMTC. Right around the corner is tax reform, but tonight we can all take satisfaction is a successful outcome. Happy New Year.