Tax Bill Passes House

Flood Insurance Get Overhaul

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX-8)

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX-8)

The House passed HR 1, the Tax Cut and Jobs Act by a vote of 227 to 205. 15 Republicans joined 192 Democrats voting against the bill.

The bill, totaling $1,4 trillion in deficit increases over the next ten years, now moves to the Senate where its text will be replaced by a Senate amendment and then returned to the House where Leadership has already claimed the House will not accept the Senate version and will insist on a conference.

The Senate is currently marking up its version of the bill and it has been scored by the Congressional Budget Office at a$1.5 trillion deficit increase, an amount that will allow the bill to be introduced under reconciliation that only requires 52 votes to pass thereby blocking any efforts to defeat the bill by Democrats.

The differences to be worked out between the two bills are significant and the Senate bill includes the repeal of the individual mandate, that provision in the Affordable Care Act that requires all Americans to buy health insurance or pay a fine.

That repeal was scored by CBO as reducing the deficit by $338 billion between 2018 and 2027 and reduce those covered by 4 million.

The House Joint Committee on Taxation has concluded that in 2019 58.2 percent of households would receive a meaningful tax cut, while 8.3 percent would face a tax hike. By 2027, fewer than half of Americans would have a tax cut worth $100 or more, while about 1 in 5 would receive a hike that large, compared with current law.

It is also projected that the plan would cut taxes by about $1300 for about 68 percent of families in the middle class, (those earning between about $50,000 and $160,000 per year) but those savings turn into higher taxes beginning for some in 2020 and others from 2023 through 2027. Also, deductions favored by the middle class such as medical expense deduction and elimination of the student loan interest deduction are both repealed in HR 1. Passed House.

The Senate bill is expected to hit the floor the week after the Thanksgiving break and the goal is to have a bill signed by Trump before the Christmas break. Trump has signaled he will sign either bill.

National Flood Insurance

Rep. Sean P. Duffy (R-WI-7)

Rep. Sean P. Duffy (R-WI-7)

H.R. 2874 would authorize the National Flood Insurance Program to enter into and renew flood insurance policies through fiscal year 2022.

The bill would require the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to raise premiums for pre-FIRM policyholders by a minimum of 8 percent a year. The bill would require FEMA to increase annual surcharges on all primary residences by 60 percent and increase annual surcharges for second homes that are not in preferred risk areas by 10 percent. The bill would also require FEMA to increase the Reserve Fund fee, which is already 15% of premiums, by one percent each year until the NFIP achieves a reserve ratio of 7.5 percent, which may take several years to reach.”Passed House.

Other Matters

Protecting Data

HR 3973 requires that the consolidated audit trail (CAT) develop internal risk control mechanisms to safeguard the storage and use of market data. Under the bill the SEC must confer with securities associations and the CAT operator on developing they controls. Passed House.

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Mobile Govt Websites

Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL-2nd)

Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL-2nd)

HR 2331 requires that ‘If, on or after the date that is 6 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, an agency creates a website that is intended for use by the public or updates a website that is intended for use by the public, the agency shall ensure that the website is mobile friendly.’ Passed House.

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Equipment Rentals

Rep. Earl Carter (R-GA-1)

Rep. Earl Carter (R-GA-1)

Under HR 3071 ‘with respect to any cost-effectiveness analysis for equipment acquisition conducted on or after the date that is 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the head of each executive agency shall consider equipment rental in such cost-effectiveness analysis. Passed House.

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Policy Making

House Speaker Rep Paul Ryan (R-WI-1)

House Speaker Rep Paul Ryan (R-WI-1)

HR 4174 amends titles 5 and 44, United States Code, to require Federal evaluation activities, improve Federal data management. Passed House.

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Past President Pay

Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA-10)

Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA-10)

Under HR 3739 each former President shall be entitled to receive from the United States an annuity at the rate of $200,000 per year; and which shall commence on the day after the date on which an individual becomes a former President; and a monetary allowance at the rate of $500,000 per year for 5 years; and $250,000 per year thereafter. Passed House.

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Defense Authorization

HR 2810 would authorize funding for the Department of Defense and other related agencies, programs, and operations for Fiscal Year 2018. It authorizes approximately $634.2 billion in base budget authority ($605.5 billion for the Department of Defense, $20.6 billion for the defense-related activities of the Department of Energy, and $300 million for defense-related activities) and approximately $65.7 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations  for a total defense discretionary topline of $699.9 billion for Fiscal Year 2018. Passed House.

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Yemen

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA-17)

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA-17)

H.Res.599 Expresses the urgent need for a political solution in Yemen consistent with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2216 or as otherwise agreed to by the parties  and denounces the conduct of activities in Yemen and areas affected by the conflict that are inconsistent with the laws of armed conflict, including the deliberate targeting of civilian populations or the use of civilian human shields. Passed House.

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