NOTABLE QUOTABLE

“We agreed on five basic areas that we’re going to be working on to build a very pro-growth agenda to take to the country in 2016 […] jobs, the economy, national security, poverty and upward mobility, restoring the constitution, making sure that we get government back to the separation of powers of our constitution, and replacing Obamacare with patient-centered healthcare, and dealing with the entitlement reform issues so we don’t have a debt crisis in this country.”

– House Speaker Paul Ryan

Fox News Sunday

Jan. 17, 2016

Republican lawmakers gathered last week in Baltimore for a three-day legislative retreat to plot out a legislative agenda and strategy for 2016. At the post-retreat press conference, House Speaker Paul Ryan announced that the GOP would focus their policy agenda on five areas: economic growth, national security, healthcare, poverty, and restoring the Constitution. Committee-led taskforces will be created to flesh out policy ideas under each of these categories with input from all members of Congress and their constituents — Ryan promised a “bottoms-up process” when it comes to setting the GOP’s agenda. Members agreed that comprehensive tax reform would be a crucial part of the Republicans’ economic growth plan. Expect more details on the GOP’s five-point plan later this spring. 

LEGISLATIVE LANDSCAPE

The Revenant: Tax Reform Edition. It’s easy to understand why some Capitol Hill watchers have left tax reform for dead in 2016. Republican tax writers have conceded that it would be difficult to revamp the tax code in any meaningful way in an election year with an outgoing president. But despite the level of pessimism bearing down on policymakers, House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady and Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch are expected to begin talks this week on putting together ...

ABC…It’s Easy as 1, 2, 3. Last week, Rep. Nunes (R-CA) introduced the American Business Competitive Act (the “ABC Act”) that would simplify the taxation of business entities for corporations and partnerships alike. The ABC Act sets a 25 percent tax for “net business income.” The net business income, applicable to all business entities, would be determined by taking the difference between ...

PRESIDENTIAL TAX TALK

Weekend at Bernie’s. This past weekend, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders introduced his plan to bring universal healthcare to the United States. Sanders’ single-payer plan, which he touted during Sunday’s debate as a “Medicare-for-all” plan, would cost the federal government about $14 trillion over ten years. The Vermont senator prescribed a new set of taxes to help pay ...

REGULATORY WORLD

Tax Reform: Topic Du Jour in Europe. Tax Commissioner Pierre Moscovici addressed members of the European parliament (MEPs) from the Special Committee on Tax Rulings and the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, outlining the importance of tax reform and transparency. MEPs from most political parties agreed with the Commissioner, urging him to go beyond the OECD’s BEPS action plan when he presents an anti-tax avoidance package by the end of January. The package is expected to include ...

IRS Nixes Proposal Requiring Substantiation of Donations. The IRS recently withdrew an unpopular proposal that laid out an alternative optional method of substantiating charitable donations of $250 or more by allowing organizations to collect ...

LOOKING AHEAD

Relevant Congressional Activity

Thursday, 1/21

Senate Finance Committee

The full committee holds a hearing to review the financial and oversight controls of CO-OPS. Read more here.

Relevant Agency Activity

Wednesday, 1/20

Export-Import Bank

The Advisory Committee will meet on the 2015 reauthorization law, the bank’s business and pipeline, and report on competitiveness to Congress. For more information, contact Tia Pitt, tia.pitt@exim.gov.

Other Activity

Wednesday, 1/20

2016 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting The World Economic Forum holds its annual meeting in Davos, Jan. 20-23. Read more here.

American Enterprise Institute AEI holds a discussion on “How America Supports Retirement: Correcting Myths About Taxes and Social Security.” Read more here.

Thursday, 1/21

American Bar Association

The ABA holds its 2016 Derivatives and Futures Law Committee Meeting. Read more here.

Center for American Progress

CAP holds a book discussion on “Retirement on the Rocks: Why Americans Can’t Get Ahead and How New Savings Policies Can Help.” Read more here.