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After years of deliberation, the House Ways and Means Committee released its draft for comprehensive tax reform. You can read more here. In addition, the House passed legislation requiring the federal government to publish proposed rules and regulations on the Internet, as well as legislation forbidding the IRS from targeting applicants because of their ideological beliefs. The Senate debated, but failed to clear, legislation reforming veterans' legislation, but approved a number of executive branch nominees.
Before the snow hit Washington, this would have been a big week for supporters of the Marketplace Fairness Act, with the House Judiciary Committee scheduled to hold a full committee hearing exploring various alternatives to the Internet Sales Tax Issue. One benefit to postponement is that it pushes the hearing back to a time closer to ASA's Legislative Fly-in in April and keeps this issue on the front burner. In addition, the House is scheduled to continue its fight against the Affordable Care Act, taking up legislation that would repeal the individual mandate. The Senate will take up the nomination of Debo Adegbile as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. Under the new confirmation rules approved in November, Republicans can no longer require 60 votes to confirm a nominee. However, according to reports, Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania has mounted a vigorous protest to the nomination, even co-authoring a Wall Street Journal op-ed in opposition. Toomey opposes Adegbile on the grounds that he voluntarily took over the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal, who killed Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner in 1981.
Item of Interest
The comment period for the Keystone XL pipeline is soon ending. We have only five days left to tell Secretary Kerry and the Administration that Keystone XL is vital to the national interest. After more than five years of study, enough is enough. The benefits of building the Keystone XL pipeline are clear. We can't let the Administration delay this project any longer. It is time to approve the Keystone XL pipeline and put American jobs and energy security as the No. 1 priority. Your voice can make the difference!
Take 60 seconds to email Secretary Kerry and share these key numbers with him:
- 42,100: The number of direct, indirect, and induced jobs during construction if Keystone XL is approved.
- 65%: Percentage of Americans who favor building the Keystone XL pipeline (Pew Research Center, September 2013).
- $3.4B: How much the Keystone XL pipeline on its own will contribute to U.S. GDP.
- $1.6B: The amount of employee earnings from construction that will occur in non-Keystone states. Because goods and services supporting the Keystone XL project will come from around the country, 80% of employee earnings will occur in other states, making the positive impact on our economy truly national.
Director of Government Affairs
American Supply Association
1776 Eye Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006
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Republicans Take on Wall Street
Republicans are proposing what was once unimaginable: raising taxes on big Wall Street banks. Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp's Republican tax reform draft looks like it will reverse more than a decade of GOP orthodoxy on taxes by socking big banks with higher levies.
Business Groups Turn on Camp
It took years for Washington's powerhouse trade groups to elicit a real tax reform proposal from Congress — and only minutes to begin bringing it down. The immediate blowback from industry groups to Rep. Dave Camp's (R-Mich.) proposal illustrates how much harder tax reform becomes when details are put to paper.
Uneasy Days for the Economy
Charlie Cook writes, "Listening the other day to discouraging economic forecasts from Alan Greenspan and Larry Summers, I was reminded of the many polls showing that Americans worry their children won't have the same opportunities they did. To be clear, neither the former Fed chairman nor the former Treasury secretary was predicting recessions or even downturns. But there was little in their words to the National Association for Business Economics to suggest that brighter days are on the immediate horizon."
Five Reasons This Supposedly Boring Budget Year Could Be Anything But
David Hawkings writes, "The budget President Obama sends to Congress on Tuesday will be a month late and hundreds of billions of dollars short. But no matter, the Capitol's conventional wisdom holds, that the unenforced legal deadline for his submission was Feb. 3, and that he'll propose acquiescing in significant deficits for the indefinite future."
Dan Hilton, Director of Government Affairs, 703.328.5234
Patrick McCoy, Senior Content Editor, MultiView, 469.420.2603
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