There are many reason why the approval rating for Congress is so low, but HR 3970: Tax Reduction and Reform Act of 2007 is a shining example of their disregard for anything but their own agenda.
This bill, among other things, extends (not fixes) the AMT patch and several other special deductions. Something they have known all year that they needed to deal with. But like last year they messed around and waited to the last minute to get started. Treasury and the IRS have been trying to get them going on these issues for a while. Neither wanted a repeat of last year where the extenders were the last piece of legislation passed before Christmas recess. This caused delays in return processing. Returns that included any of the extenders could not be processed until February of 2007.
It looks like a repeat situation this year. Experts say TRARA of 2007 is in for a fight in the Senate and the President has already threatened a veto because of income increasers (required to offset the deductions) the House included in the bill. An override looks unlikely. So then, the House will have to start over again to fix the extenders. The longer this farce continues the more likely the IRS will have to delay return processing, again.