On The Hill

Trade Update (March 4)

  US-China Ways & Means Hearing   This week all eyes were on Capitol Hill as US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer testified before the House Ways and Means Committee. The hearing was well timed, as President Trump announced on Saturday (Feb 23) that he would not increase the Section 301 tariffs on March 2, as…
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Health Update (March 4)

Drug Pricing   The Senate Finance Committee met this week for its second drug pricing hearing. The highly anticipated appearance of several pharmaceutical executives gave senators the opportunity to speak face to face with key players in the drug pricing process. While senators highlighted stories from their states about the unaffordability of prescription drugs, they explored some…
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Tax Update (February 25)

Opportunity Zones   The fate of the opportunity zones bill pending before the Puerto Rico legislative assembly remains uncertain. The bill would grant exemptions to U.S. residents investing in opportunity zones on Puerto Rico’s local capital gains tax, building projects, tax-free dividend distributions, and allow for an expedited permitting process for special projects. If the…
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Health Update (February 25)

Grandfathered Health Plans   This week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) put out a Request for Information (RFI) regarding grandfathered health plans and group health insurance coverage. The RFI indicated that there is “little information available regarding such coverage” and that the Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services ordered to…
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Trade Update (February 25)

US-China Trade Relations   Trade negotiators met in Washington, DC this week (Feb 19-22) for a fourth round of trade talks. According to sources familiar with the talks, negotiators are drafting “six memorandums of understanding (MoU) on structural issues: forced technology transfer and cyber theft, intellectual property rights, services, currency, agriculture, and non-tariff barriers to trade.”[1]…
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Trade Update (February 18)

US-China Trade Negotiations   US and Chinese officials met in Beijing this week in an attempt to reach a trade deal by the March 1 deadline. Deputy US Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish arrived on Monday (Feb 11), while USTR Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin arrived on Thursday (Feb 14). At the conclusion of the meetings,…
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Health Update (February 18)

Congress and President Trump have averted another government shutdown. On Thursday, the House and Senate overwhelmingly approved a spending package that will fund the remaining nine government agencies through September 30, 2019. President Trump signed the bill, but said that he is “not thrilled” with the legislation. In a Rose Garden speech this morning, he announced that he…
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Tax Update (February 11)

Digital Tax   After a 3 percent European Union tax proposal on digital services failed to pass, France is now looking to impose a fee of its own. The tax proposal would target two types of services under a draft framework for a national digital tax. The tax is targeted at US companies that play…
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Trade Update (February 11)

State of the Union Address   On Tuesday (Feb 5), President Trump gave his State of the Union Address. The address was originally scheduled for Tuesday, January 29th, but was postponed due to the government shutdown. During the address President Trump discussed the ongoing negotiations with China, saying, “it must include real, structural change to end unfair…
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Health Update (February 11)

President Donald Trump delivered his State of the Union Address this past Tuesday, and two health issues earned mentions. The president announced a plan to direct $500 million in funding for pediatric cancer research, a number Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) wrote off as not enough, seeing as the National Cancer Institute’s yearly budget is roughly $6…
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Tax Update (February 4)

Tax Extenders Latest   Reports this week indicated that extenders are back on the top of the lists for tax writers. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) Chief Tax Counsel, Jay Khosla, stated that while he views tax extenders as “easy” – versus fixing glitches and other problems in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,…
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Trade Update (February 4)

Buy American   President Trump signed an executive order on Thursday (Jan 31), which will “encourage recipients of new Federal financial assistance awards to use, to the greatest extent practicable, iron and aluminum as well as, steel, cement, and other manufactured products produced in the United States in every contract, subcontract, purchase order, or sub-award…
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Health Update (February 4)

The longest government shutdown in American history ended last Friday (1/25) after President Donald Trump signed a 3-week continuing resolution to reopen all closed government agencies. The continuing resolution did not contain any increased appropriations for a southern border wall, but negotiators in the House and Senate are working to present a long-term spending solution by…
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Tax Update (January 28)

This week, House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal’s (D-MA) new Chief Tax Counsel, Andrew Grossman, outlined the priorities for Ways and Means Democrats.     Retirement Chairman Neal is interested in holding hearings of previous bi-partisan retirement packages that make it easier for Americans to save and plan for retirement. There will likely be…
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Trade Update (January 28)

Presidential Trade Powers Representative Sean Duffy (R-WI) and 18 cosponsors formally introduced the “United States Reciprocal Trade Act,” which would expand President Trump’s ability to impose tariffs on another country if he believes its tariff and non-tariff measures are unfair or too restrictive. In a statement, Rep. Duffy said, “The goal of the U.S. Reciprocal Trade…
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