Washington Weekly
May. 12, 2014

Last Week

The House passed legislation permanently extending the R&D tax credit. Created in 1981, the credit has historically been renewed each year, but is currently expired. According to supporters, the House bill would establish a permanent tax credit that allows for: (1) 20% of the qualified or basic research expenses that exceed 50% of the average qualified or basic research expenses for the three preceding taxable years, and (2) 20% of amounts paid to an energy research consortium for energy research. It would reduce such credit rate to 10% if a taxpayer has no qualified research expenses in any one of the three preceding taxable years. In addition, the House voted to create a select committee to investigate the events surrounding the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, as well as legislation reforming charter schools. The Senate debated, but failed to advance, legislation addressing energy efficiency. According to reports (see below), the Senate Majority Leader limited Republicans amendments and was insistent that the energy efficiency bill pass before a vote on the Keystone pipeline could occur.More

This Week

The House is in recess. The Senate, having failed to advance energy efficiency legislation, will spend the week working on tax extenders. The Senate will take up Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden's tax-extenders legislation after passing it out of committee last month, and just days after the House passed a bill to make the so-called R&D tax credit permanent. The House and Senate are pursuing different approaches to tax extenders, with the Senate putting dozens of the provisions into one bill, while the House follows a more piecemeal strategy. The Senate's Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency (EXPIRE) Act would cut government revenues by $81.3 billion over 10 years and increase deficits by $84.1 billion, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates. It would extend several dozen provisions through December 2015.More

Item of Interest

This week marks the 50th anniversary of National Small Business Week. Across the country, the Small Business Administration, members of the House, and others are commemorating this week by holding events that may of be interest to you. You can take part in many of the events, such as webinars on achieving customer loyalty, smarter business travel, and much more, from the comfort of your desk. To learn more, visit the National Small Business Week event page and the House Republican Small Business Committee.More

More Than Just Keystone Died in the Senate Wednesday
The collapse of a bipartisan energy efficiency bill on the floor has imperiled the Senate's vote on the Keystone XL pipeline, but it also has members sweating that their chance to move any other energy measures has all but slipped away.More

Natural Gas Fight is Key to Keystone Vote
The Hill
The fate of a bipartisan energy efficiency bill and a vote on the Keystone XL pipeline has boiled down to a fight over whether to make it easier to export liquefied natural gas. Liquefied natural gas exports have taken on new prominence in Congress because of Russia's threats to stop gas exports to Ukraine and the European Union.More

How to Ruin Your Interview With Stu Rothenberg
Roll Call
Nathan L. Gonzales writes, "After interviewing more than 1,000 candidates for the House and Senate with my colleague, Stu Rothenberg, I have a pretty good idea of what makes him tick and what just plain ticks him off."More