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Gov't Affairs News

NECA Top Three 10/6/17

Oct 06, 2017

1. This week, the House of Representatives and Senate took the first steps towards enacting comprehensive tax reform by pushing forward with their respective budget resolutions. The House, on October 5, considered the FY18 Budget Resolution, H. Con. Res. 71 which includes reconciliation instructions. Congressional leaders decided they must pass a budget resolution to allow for the possibility of tax reform to happen.

NECA’s Look Ahead: The House budget, as proposed, would reduce the deficit by $6.5 trillion over 10 years, balance the budget by fiscal year 2027, and produce a $9 billion surplus. Budget resolutions are not sent to the president for signature, but are binding on the House and Senate as they consider spending bills to fund the government. The budget reconciliation process is designed to allow fast-track consideration of legislation and require only 51 votes to pass the Senate. This particular budget resolution would allow for consideration of tax reform as well. A number of Democratic caucuses, including the NECA-supported Blue Dog Coalition, have expressed their concerns with the budget and the use of the reconciliation process to pass tax reform.  The Blue Dog Coalition issued a letter to the Speaker, along with their vision for tax reform under regular order. The budget is expected to pass largely on party lines.

2. A victory for NECA contractors, the U.S. Treasury Department has formally recommended withdrawing the Section 2704 regulations on family business valuation. The Treasury's final report was issued in accordance with President Donald Trump’s Executive Order 13789. These regulations would have increased the death tax burden on family businesses.

NECA’s Look Ahead: Withdrawal of these regulations has long been advocated by NECA. As the debate over tax reform goes on, NECA will continue to push for a full repeal the death tax that is so burdensome on families and small businesses.

3. Earlier this week, a collection of Senators and Congressmen from Vermont and West Virginia presented this Congress’ first attempt at tackling this country’s pension challenges. This particular group presented the American Miners Pension Act, a proposal to address the unfunded liabilities through a series of structured loans paid back to the government at a low interest rate.

NECA’s Look Ahead: While NECA does not intend to weigh in on the United Mine Workers efforts, the movement on a major pension issue opens various avenues for Congress to begin to address one of our top priorities, composite plans. NECA will continue to advocate for the introduction of composite plan legislation.