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Tax Reform a Priority for New Administration & Congressional Leaders

Mon, Nov 21, 2016

District Of Columbia

As the new Administration continues to take shape, regulatory agencies and Congress look to set their agendas. Last Thursday, the Obama administration added 572 pages of new rules and regulations to the Federal Register.  This marks a new record overall in the number of pages published in one year, bringing a total of 81,640 pages, surpassing the record the Administration originally set in 2010 in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

At the CFPB, the Bureau filed a petition asking for the US Court of Appeals to conduct an “en banc” review of the October ruling that called the CFPB structure unconstitutional and could lead to Director Cordray’s removal by President-Elect Trump.  The Court does not have to agree to the re-hearing, and it is likely that the Trump Administration’s Justice Department (post January 20) will attempt to force the withdrawal of the petition.  In other words, it is more likely than not that the PHH decision affecting CFPB will stand. 

In Congress, leadership positions were voted on in the Senate and in the House on the Republican side of the aisle.  Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) has emerged to challenge Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi. That vote is expected this week, and the betting is that Pelosi will retain her position.  The likelihood of comprehensive tax reform in the 115th Congress continues to increase, with several developments worth noting:

  • Both House Speaker Ryan and Senate Majority Leader McConnell have made public comments about using the Budget Reconciliation process to pass big, controversial reforms in 2017.  The Budget Reconciliation is expected to be the vehicle because it moves through both chambers under expedited rules and only takes a simple majority to pass.
  • Tax reform is one of the most frequently mentioned issues to be dealt with in a Budget Reconciliation bill, second only to the effort to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act (‘Obamacare’), which was also passed via a reconciliation bill in 2010. 
  • House leadership staff has indicated that a very specific plan has already been agreed upon—there will be two budget resolutions next year. The first would be in Jan. and would result in a reconciliation bill by the end of February to repeal most of Obamacare.  The second would be introduced in May-June and would lead to a reconciliation bill by the end of September that is likely to include corporate tax reform and a tax cut for individuals

For more information, please Contact: Glen Cooney: 443-325-0775,