NOTABLE QUOTABLE

I am often asked about the constraints of revenue neutrality. And my answer is this: real- world budget scoring that recognizes the growth aspects of tax reform is the responsible path. And I won’t leave economic growth on the table because of disagreements over a time or two. It’s jobs and opportunity we are seeking.”

– House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady

Tax Council Policy Institute Symposium, Feb. 12, 2016

LEGISLATIVE  LANDSCAPE

Brady: Think Outside of Revenue-Neutrality Box. Comprehensive tax reform should be driven by policy proposals that deliver economic growth — not by dogmatic adherence to revenue neutrality, House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady said at the Tax Council Policy Institute’s (TCPI) 17th Annual Tax Policy and Practice Symposium. The House’s top tax writer told the audience that the Ways and Means Committee was committed to ...

Listen Up: Tax Chatter on Campaign Trail Matters. Presidential tax talks on the campaign trail will be influential in shaping tax policy  in 2017, according to a panel of former presidential  advisers speaking at TCPI’s tax policy symposium. McGuireWoods’ own Russ Sullivan moderated a session titled, “The Policymakers’ View: How Presidential Campaigns Steer Tax Policy,” where former policy advisers to Presidents Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush agreed ...

You Get a Budget! You Get a Budget! Maybe. House Republicans have yet to reach a consensus on how best to proceed with the congressional budget process. At a Feb. 12 meeting with members, House Speaker Paul Ryan outlined three options ...

REGULATORY WORLD

Belgium Appeals EC’s State Aid Decisions. The Belgian government is challenging the findings by the European Commission (EC) in connection with the rash of State Aid tax ruling cases. The EC ordered Belgium to recover up to 835 million euros from various multinational companies based on its findings that Belgium broke ...

You Down with FTT? Austrian Finance Minister Schelling said that if less than 9 countries agree to make progress by March on the European Financial Transactions Tax, then the tax plan may never come to fruition. For the past four years, an original 11-nation group of European Union members agreed to impose a fee on ...

LINE ITEMS

  • U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia passed away Feb. 13, sending Republican and Democratic lawmakers in two different directions when it comes to the question of appointing Scalia’s replacement. Predictably, Democrats would like President Obama to fill the vacancy as soon as possible, while Republicans argue the decision should  be  left  to  the  next administration.
  • The Senate passed, 75-20, the conference report for the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act (H.R.644). The customs enforcement bill also includes a provision that bans taxes on Internet access. The House approved the conference report back in December. President Obama is expected to sign the bill.
  • The so-called “Cadillac tax” would be revised under President Obama’s fiscal year 2017 budget request. The budget proposes that in any state where the premium for a gold plan on an exchange would be above the Cadillac tax’s current threshold, the threshold would rise to the amount of the average gold plan’s premium. This change would raise about $1 billion over ten years. Under the Affordable Care Act, the Cadillac tax is a 40-percent excise tax on employer- sponsored health insurance benefits over a certain threshold. Last year, Congress decided to delay implementation of the tax to 2020.

LOOKING AHEAD

Relevant Congressional Activity

**Congress is in recess, returning the week of Feb. 22