Washington Weekly
Jul. 14, 2014

Last Week

The House passed and sent to the President's desk the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which would streamline redundant training programs and coordination of services. To learn more, click here. In addition, the House passed appropriations for Energy and Water, as well as making bonus depreciation permanent, which ASA supported. Specifically, passage makes permanent the additional 50% depreciation allowance (bonus depreciation) for qualified property placed in service after Dec. 31, 2013. It also modifies the definition of "qualified property" to include qualified retail improvement property. It increases by $8,000 (with an annual inflation adjustment after 2014) the maximum allowable depreciation deduction for a passenger automobile (i.e., any four-wheeled vehicle that is manufactured primarily for use on public streets, roads, and highways and is rated at 6,000 pounds unloaded gross vehicle weight or less). The Senate confirmed former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro to be Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and outgoing HUB Secretary Shaun Donovan as Director of the Office of Management and Budget.More

This Week

The House will dig into the President's request for emergency appropriations to address the situation on our southern border. The House will also take up appropriations for Financial Services and General Government (Department of Treasury) as well as the Permanent Internet Freedom Act, as well as possibly taking up a temporary patch to fund the highway trust fund. The Senate has two votes schedule for executive branch nominations, as well as proceeding to amendments on reauthorizing the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act.More

Item of Interest

The House takes its first step in its plans to sue the President of the United States. Last week, House Speaker John Boehner signaled that the lawsuit would be over the president's unilateral changing of the Affordable Care Act, specifically postponing the employer mandate. The House Rules Committee will hear from legal scholars this week on the merits and history of such a case before moving to a full vote of the House in the last week of July.More

House Resolution Authorizes Suing Obama Over Affordable Care Act
Roll Call
House Republicans plan to sue President Barack Obama for failing to enforce the Affordable Care Act, according to a resolution authorizing the lawsuit posted on the House Rules Committee website. The president's failure to enforce the employer mandate will be the focus of the lawsuit, Speaker John A. Boehner said in a statement.More

Read Laws Passed by the 113th Congress
The Hill
Capitol Hill's reputation as the "do-nothing Congress" is well-deserved. The current session of Congress is on track to pass historically fewer laws of substance, according to an analysis by The Hill. In fact, the major bills that have cleared the 113th Congress to date are nearly all "must-pass" measures or reauthorizations of existing law.More

Racetrack Owners Seek to Put the Brakes on the Term: 'NASCAR Tax Break'
Motor racetrack owners are waving the red flag, calling for a stop to what they say is false labeling of the longtime tax provision they are asking Congress to renew — taking issue with it's being called the "NASCAR Tax Credit." That phrase may be catchier than the "tax treatment of motorsports facilities." But they say it is not correct, because the tax provision doesn't directly benefit the sanctioning body of stock-car racing itself, even if there are interconnections.More