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Lawmakers Begin Tax Reform, Infrastructure Debates

Lawmakers Begin Tax Reform, Infrastructure Debates

In our new feature at, Palmer Schoening, Chairman of the Family Business Coalition and President of Schoening Strategies takes us inside the Capitol for a look at key issues that NAED’s Government Affairs department is working on to help our members.

Tax Reform: Pro-Growth, Revenue Neutral, Permanent Plan Reiterated by Ways and Means Chair. In yesterday afternoon’s Bloomberg TV interview, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) emphasized a bold, pro-growth tax reform that is revenue neutral, including a border adjustment tax, so it can be permanent. The Ways and Means Committee will hold its first in a series of tax reform hearings at 10 AM Thursday. NAED will be highlighting the association’s comprehensive tax reform policy priorities in submitted testimony.

37 House Republicans listed by The Hill as “undecided on, or skeptical of, border-adjustment tax.” Senator Orrin Hatch (UT) has proposed other ways to fund tax reform using repatriation and corporate integration, two politically hot button issues themselves. A large tax cut may become more likely if the BAT is stripped from tax reform and other pay-fors aren’t palatable.

Infrastructure Week kicked off by Transportation Secretary Chao without details. Yesterday morning, at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in D.C., Ms. Chao promised a detailed plan in “several weeks” and reiterated it’s broad outlines in her formal remarks:

As OMB Director Mulvaney recently announced, the new infrastructure plan will include $200 billion in direct federal funds. These funds will be used to leverage $1 trillion in infrastructure investment over ten years. OMB is identifying offsets, in order to avoid saddling future generations with more debt. That’s why a key feature of the infrastructure plan will be unleashing the billions of dollars in private capital available for investment in infrastructure. During the consultation process, investors told us again and again that there is ample capital available, waiting to invest in infrastructure. A major problem is the delays caused by government permitting and approval processes, which hold up projects for years, even decades. These delays increase the risk, adding uncertainty and billions of dollars to project costs. That’s why another key part of this Administration’s infrastructure plan will include common-sense regulatory, administrative, organizational, and policy changes to speed project delivery and reduce uncertainty. Many of the departments and agencies mentioned in the interagency task force will have a role in addressing these issues.

“Final Sequestration Report for Fiscal Year 2017.” Friday, the Congressional Budget Office’s report stated in part:

After those adjustments are made, the caps on budget authority for 2017 will total an estimated $634.0 billion for defense programs and $553.6 billion for nondefense programs—about $1.19 trillion in all. According to CBO’s estimates, appropriations for defense and non- defense programs in 2017 are equal to those caps; there- fore, no sequestration will be required. The caps could be breached, however, if lawmakers provided additional appropriations for 2017 before the end of September—unless those appropriations fell into one of the categories that cause an adjustment to the caps or were offset by reductions in funding for other pro- grams. If the caps were breached late in fiscal year 2017, the 2018 caps would be reduced to compensate for the excess funding. The Senate returned at 3 PM EDT yesterday and invoked cloture on the nomination of Jeffrey Rosen to be Deputy Transportation Secretary. Nominations will be considered all week. The House will return at noon today with votes postponed until 6:30 PM on four bills from the Suspension Calendar. Tomorrow afternoon, the House will consider 14 more bills from the Suspension Calendar. Thursday, the House is expected to pass the Blue Line Act, H.R.115, “to expand the list of statutory aggravating factors in death penalty determinations to also include the killing or attempted killing of a law enforcement officer, firefighter, or other first responders.” Friday morning, the House is expected to pass the Probation Officers Protection Act, H.R.1039. It is police week in D.C. with thousands of police officers crowding the city.


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