Washington Weekly
Jan. 26, 2015

Last Week

The Senate spent the week debating amendments to the Keystone XL Pipeline Act. According to Senate Republicans, the Senate has already held more amendment votes last week than were held in all of 2014. In all, they voted on 24 amendments related to energy policy, including a near-unanimous vote (98-1-1) that "climate change is real and not a hoax." The House passed legislation that would streamline and reform permitting of natural gas pipelines. Generally, the legislation is aimed at speeding up the approval (or denial) process to avoid unnecessary delays in natural gas development. In addition, the House also intended to take up legislation that would deny abortions after 20 weeks, citing a fetus’s ability to feel pain. However, after a number of defections with the Republican ranks, the legislation was altered to prevent taxpayer funds from being used to terminate a pregnancy. More

This Week

On Friday, the Senate Majority Leader's office filed cloture on the Keystone bill, meaning that all remaining amendments to be voted on must have been filed by Friday afternoon, and the Senate will move to end debate on the bill. The Senate has been debating the legislation since the second week of January, and will hold several cloture votes beginning this evening, which will require 60 votes. The House will take up legislation to beef up border security, as they continue to grapple with how to address the president's executive actions related to immigration. The legislation would require the Department of Homeland Security to be able to prevent all illegal crossings into the U.S., called "operational control," within five years. DHS would need to have operational control at high-traffic areas of the southern border within two years. DHS political appointees would be ineligible for receiving bonuses if operational control isn't achieved within the specified timeframes. More

Item of Interest

We're pleased to announce that registration for ASA's 2015 Legislative Fly-in is open. Congress must hear from the small-business community, and that means you. If Congress passes corporate-only tax reform like the president and new Senate Majority Leader have suggested, how does that help ESOPs and S Corps? If Congress continues to bury its head in the sand and refuse to aid sellers in the battle for e-fairness because they believe it only benefits big-box retailers, then they need to hear from small businesses, too. Is your company's health care situation stable and acceptable? If not, then Congress needs to hear from you. Join us April 14 -15 in Washington, click here for more information.More

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