One secret of the modern Congress is that many members simply do not know each other very well, or at all. As the Commission on Political Reform noted in its report, “Members do not eat together, their families do not interact, and consequently they do not get to know each other very well.” This is a marked change from the past, when such interaction was commonplace. Personal relationships were at the heart of some of the most significant legislative accomplishments of the 20th century.
BPC recognizes Representative David McKinley (R-WV) and Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) for their bipartisan efforts on the Energy and Commerce committee. The pair introduced H.R. 3565: The Biennial Commission on Energy Policy Act of 2013 in November of 2013, and have continued to be amicable, regardless of their political affiliation. The legislation would amend the Department of Energy Organization Act to create a commission to develop energy policy reform.
We recently blogged about the various types of federal tax expenditures, which in total, will cost about $1.4 trillion in Fiscal Year 2014. In this post, we highlight ten of the largest, each of which policymakers will likely need to consider in the context of comprehensive tax reform.
In November 2013, the Joint Plan of Action (JPA), negotiated between the P5+1 countries, including the United States, and Iran, gave negotiators six months to reach an agreement on the future of Iran’s nuclear program. In anticipation of this weekend’s July 20 JPA deadline, diplomatic leaders, including Secretary of State John Kerry, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, chief U.S. negotiator Wendy Sherman, and members of the diplomatic corps from other P5+1 countries and Iran have converged on Vienna, hoping to announce a final deal in the coming days.
Last month the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released two studies on the environmental impacts of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports. According to DOE, the studies are intended to inform DOE’s decision-making process for LNG export permit applications to countries that do not have free trade agreements (FTAs) with the United States. The environmental impacts of LNG exports—which include greenhouse gas emissions (GHG)—are included in the criteria that DOE uses to make its public interest determinations on projects to export LNG to non-FTA countries. The studies are open for public comment for 45 days, closing on July 21, 2014.
Earlier today, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office released its 2014 Long-Term Budget Outlook, an annual report that projects government spending, tax revenue, deficits, and debt over the next 25 years. Like last year’s report, today’s report paints a sobering picture of our nation’s long-term fiscal health and reinforces the need for bipartisan action to reduce our long-term debt.
Next up is Ali Solis, the senior vice president of public policy and external affairs for Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. Ali will team up with an impressive set of speakers to discuss the Low Income Housing Tax Credit on the afternoon of Tuesday, September 16. Check out her thoughts on the BPC recommendation to increase the LIHTC by 50 percent and how she is inspired to work to improve the odds for the 19 million families facing housing insecurity in our country.
As we have written about and has been widely known for some time, the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), which finances federal spending on surface transportation and infrastructure, is on track to be exhausted in the coming weeks. The HTF finances a variety of projects across the country to maintain and improve surface infrastructure, including roads, bridges, and public transit.
Several recent comprehensive tax reform proposals, including plans put forward by House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) and the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Domenici–Rivlin Debt Reduction Task Force, have called for lower corporate and individual rates alongside limiting tax expenditures to broaden the tax base. But what exactly are tax expenditures?