On The Hill

The Government Shutdown and Debt Ceiling Merry-Go-Round

We Have A Deal: Late on Wednesday, October 16 the Senate and House approved compromise legislation, signed into law by President Obama, to reopen the federal government and raise the debt ceiling.  The law also included some other provisions – an Affordable Care Act tweak to ensure the health-insurance exchanges verify eligibility, for example –…
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House Ways & Means Tax Reform Update

The Ways and Means Committee Republicans, led by Chairman Camp, are preparing draft language for tax reform and closely working with JTC on the revenue estimates for each section.  One of the key elements is the tax treatment of investment income (capital gains and dividends). Some highlights: Staff believe that the revenue maximizing rate for…
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TAX REFORM AT THE BELL

OVERVIEW: On Friday, August 2, the House joined the Senate in adjourning congressional business in Washington DC until the week of September 9.  Many important issues remain on the to-do list – like a farm bill and stalled immigration reform – but perhaps the most significant challenges that need to be addressed this fall will be…
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The Sorry State of Tax Reform: The Glass Half-Empty

There has been a flurry of activity in the last few weeks since Finance Chairman Baucus and Ranking Member Hatch issued their Dear Colleague (attached) to the other 98 senators asking for input on a “blank slate” tax reform project.  Notwithstanding next week’s installment of the “Max and Dave” road show in Philadelphia at which…
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Progress Report: Tax Reform

As Congress returns from the Memorial Day recess, there are varying opinions on the likelihood of tax reform. On one hand, given the events leading up to the holiday, it seems entirely possible.  On May 21st, Apple CEO Tim Cook was on Capitol Hill to defend his company, whose actions, according to a report by…
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Updated Outlook: Tax Reform in 2013

House Revenue measures, including tax reform, must originate in the House according to the Constitution. No doubt tax reform’s strongest advocate is House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI), who has spearheaded the effort with dozens of hearings, several jointly with the Senate; Camp above all in the House leadership remains committed to comprehensive…
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Sequestration Showdown and Next Steps on Budget/CR/Tax Reform

With Congress back in town and the debt ceiling on the back burner until May, the spotlight will shine most brightly in the coming weeks on the sequester, which is set to take effect on March 1st.  The  2011 Budget Control Act agreement mandated roughly $1.2 trillion in across-the-board federal spending cuts, half coming from…
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Tax Reform in 2013

Tax Reform in 2013 In November of 2012, it seemed as if corporate tax reform was more a question of a “when” than an “if.”  President Obama spoke of it as a certainty, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus signaled his intent to pass a bill in 2013, Speaker Boehner and Ways and Means Chairman…
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Fiscal Cliff Part Two and the Lead-up to March Madness

The Fiscal Cliff Compromise: Part 1 – The January 1, 2013 deal focused primarily on income tax issues, but it did include some additional provisions.  Some of the larger portions of the bill are as follows: Permanently extends the Bush income tax cuts for earnings under $400,000 ($450,000 for married couples); Permanently locks in the 15% rate on capital gains and…
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Generic Opioids

Generic Opioids A projected 60-80 million pills of crushable generic OPANA ER and Oxycontin are set to hit the US market in 2013 when patents owned by Endo Pharmaceuticals and Purdue Pharma will to expire.  Endo Pharmaceutical’s OPANA ER goes off patent Jan 1., and Purdue Pharma’s OxyContin does the same in April. Both drugs…
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Tax Extenders And The Fiscal Cliff

Senior Senate Finance Committee Democratic staff said this morning that the committee stands ready to push a package including tax extenders, a Medicare doc fix, and an Alternative Minimum Tax fix if the White House and Congress fail to reach an agreement on the fiscal cliff before year-end (though failure was not a “prediction”). Next…
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Update: Sequestration and the Fiscal Cliff

***UPDATE: In the days leading up to the election, House Speaker Boehner reinforced our view that a punt on the fiscal cliff is the most likely outcome in the Lame Duck session.  Boehner said a ‘bridge’ over the cliff is the “best (we) can hope for,” dismissing the idea of a grand bargain before the…
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Sequestration And The Fiscal Cliff

Setting the Stage:  The so-called fiscal cliff (a term ascribed to Fed chairman Bernanke) is actually a two-step series of events that could have serious negative impacts on our fragile recovery but which could go a long way toward shrinking our rapidly expanding national debt.  The “cliff” starts in earnest on December 31 with the…
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The Week Ahead

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The Week Ahead

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