What's New in Washington (Nov)

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Congress continues its heavy workload with the Thanksgiving recess roughly three weeks away. On October 26, the House passed the Senate’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget resolution by the slim margin of 216-212—opening the door for Republicans to pursue President Trump’s top priority of tax reform with a simple majority under budget reconciliation. House Republicans released their long-awaited tax reform plan this week and are scheduled to mark up the legislation next week in the House Ways and Means Committee. Senate Republicans are expected to release their package in the middle of next week (week of November 6) and mark up their bill in the Senate Finance Committee during the week of November 13. President Trump is urging the House and Senate to put tax reform on his desk by the end of the year.

Tax reform debate has continued simultaneously along with efforts to provide disaster relief and stabilize health care markets. On October 26, President Trump signed a $36.5 billion emergency aid measure to refill disaster accounts and bail out the federal flood insurance program. The funds in the bill are intended to aid not only Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico after devastating hurricanes, but western states that have suffered from massive wildfires as well. Since damage is still being assessed, it is expected that Congress will be pressed to provide further disaster aid. Additionally, the Bipartisan Health Care Stabilization Act of 2017 authored by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) has continued to gain traction in the wake of a more favorable Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score than previously proposed health care bills.

Here are a few things that we believe are worth focusing on since our last issue: 

  1. Tax Reform Begins in Earnest
  2. Treasury Releases Two More Reports on the Financial Services System
  3. Legislative Changes Proposed to Foreign Investment Review Process
  4. International Trade Dialogues Expected to Intensify in November
  5. Senate Finance Committee Releases Draft Medicare Extenders Bill
  6. Department of Transportation Launches New UAS Pilot Program

Read more at Akin Gump