Take Stock: Federal Policy Watch

In a Nov. 9 Law360 article, McGuireWoods Consulting senior advisor, Frank Donatelli, reviewed the 2018 midterm elections with ten snap observations. TEN: The turnout for the 2018 midterms was the largest in history – approaching 113 million voters. NINE: Republican campaigns focused on immigration, and base Republican voters were energized by the Brett Kavanaugh U.S. Supreme Court hearings. However, Republicans did not do well in southwestern states, and the strong economy was not emphasized. “Trump is comfortable…
When Congress reconvenes in January, Democrats will be in control of the House for the first time in eight years. Lawmakers will continue to discuss privacy and cybersecurity issues, including whether there should be a federal standard for how companies should be allowed to use and safeguard consumer data and how to stop cyberattacks from foreign entities. In a Nov. 7 article from Law360, McGuireWoods Consulting senior advisor, Michael Drobac, noted that these issues…
The 2018 midterm elections were significant due to the volume of statewide races across the country with potential policy and political impact.  As anticipated, there were significant victories for the Democratic candidates for Governor.  Democrats flipped seven governor seats from Republican control, bringing the total up to 23 Democrat and 26 Republican governors.  This is a big win for Democrats, especially considering no single party has netted more than 6 governorships since 1994.  Note: These numbers…
With several races still too close to call, Republicans maintained and expanded their majority in the Senate, while Democrats picked up enough seats to take control of the House. Once in the majority, House Democrats can be expected to exercise their oversight, and if necessary, subpoena authority to compel responses from the Administration to inquiries from the minority on a host of controversial topics that were not answered due to the process that only committee…
On Oct. 19, the IRS and Treasury Department issued proposed regulations and a Revenue Ruling as the first part of its long-anticipated guidance package regarding the Opportunity Zone program. Enacted at the end of last year as part of the 2017 Tax Act, the Opportunity Zone program offers significant tax incentives (including gain deferral and partial exclusion) to investors who make qualified investments of capital gains in Opportunity Zones — i.e., the low-income urban and…
The Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) voted unanimously to remove Prudential from its list of non-bank systemically important financial institutions (SIFIs). Prudential was the only institution left on the council’s SIFI list. The FSOC has issued an explanation of its decision to rescind the SIFI label, which can be viewed here. The council is expected to revamp its SIFI designation process going forward and may issue an outline of the new process before the end…
The Senate convenes Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 3 p.m. The House is in recess until Nov. 13. Senate Water Infrastructure Bill. The chamber will resume consideration of the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 (S. 3021), a bill that would authorize funding for 15 water infrastructure projects related to flood control, navigation, hydropower, drinking water, and the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The bill, as amended, cleared the House on Sept. 13. A cloture vote is scheduled…
Welcome to fiscal year 2019! Congress averted a government shutdown last week when the president signed a minibus spending package (H.R. 6157) that includes a full-year funding for Defense and Labor-HHS-Education as well as a continuing resolution (CR) through Dec. 7. The House is now in recess until after the November midterm elections. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said the chamber would reconvene on Nov. 13. Meanwhile, the Senate is expected to stay put in October…
As expected, the House last week passed all three bills in the GOP’s Tax Reform 2.0 package – just before members departed for their month-plus-long recess. Here’s how the votes went down. Protecting Family and Small Business Tax Cuts Act (H.R. 6760) This bill would make permanent the individual and small business tax cuts enacted in 2017. The Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimates that the measure would reduce federal revenue by about $631 billion.…
The Senate convenes Monday, Oct. 1 at 3 p.m. The House is in recess until Nov. 13. FLOOR ACTION Senate FAA. The chamber will resume consideration of the five-year FAA reauthorization bill (H.R. 302). A procedural vote is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. today. As a reminder, the Senate passed a short-term extension (through Oct. 7) last week. Opioids Legislation. This week, the chamber will take up and pass H.R. 6, as amended…