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Jul 06, 2017

1. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its plans to repeal the Obama administration’s Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule. The EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt, along with Douglas Lamont, senior official performing the duties of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, released the proposed rule change this week.

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2. Last week President Donald Trump kicked off Energy Week and released his “An America First Energy Plan”.  On June 29, 2017, the President held an energy event at the Department of Energy’s headquarters, featuring Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt and members of Congress. NECA was invited to participate and CEO John M. Grau attended.

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3. The debate over healthcare continued in the Senate over the July 4th recess as lawmakers have begun to promote various fixes to the proposed legislation offered by the House.  These proposals have shifted the bill further and further away from its initial form, with some saying the bill would not be ready until the week of July 17. Senators have begun to offer creative fixes for identified hurdles, including allowing insurers to offer plans that do not comply with Obamacare regulations, so long as they also sell plans that comply with those rules.  In addition to the anxiety over the changing landscape, concern is growing over the Senate’s willingness to allow the ACA surtax on S Corporations to remain in their bill. This surtax imposes an additional 3.8 percent tax on so-called unearned income, including capital gains, dividends, interest, as well as certain S corporation and partnership income for families making as little as $250,000 a year.

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