Aug 1, 2017

Tax Policy Update


Source: C-SPAN and Buzzfeed News

Here’s a screen grab of the Senate floor during the wee hours of July 28 when Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) raised his arm for recognition and voted against the Senate GOP’s “skinny repeal” bill. The dramatic thumbs-down from the senior senator of Arizona tanked the Republicans’ seven-year efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare. If you haven’t seen it already, check out Buzzfeed News’s play-by-play of the vote here.

Programming Note : The Tax Policy Update (TPU) will be on break for the August recess. But keep your eyes open for a special alert from McGuireWoods’ tax policy team around mid-August in which we will assess where things stand on tax reform, healthcare, infrastructure, and regulatory reform. Consider it your summer beach reading! The TPU will be back in your inbox in September.


The “No” Heard ‘Round the World. Despite repeated promises to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, attempts to pass a watered down “skinny bill” failed. Three Republican senators, Susan Collins (ME), Lisa Murkowski (AK), and John McCain (AZ), joined all 48 Democrats, to vote against a bill that would have eliminated the individual mandate penalty, the employer mandate penalty for eight years, and the medical device tax for three years. No amount of pressure…

To Market, To Market, To Buy Health Insurance. Infighting amongst the GOP continues, as Republicans remain split on funding cost-sharing subsidy payments to insurers. Moderates like Sen. Susan Collins believe funding the subsidies…

The Little BAT That Couldn’t. The House GOP’s controversial border adjustment tax (BAT) landed with a thud last week when the “Big Six” issued a joint statement on tax reform, announcing the death of the BAT. “While we have debated the pro-growth benefits of border adjustability, we appreciate that there are many unknowns associated with it and have decided to set this policy aside in order to advance tax reform,” the statement said…

Keep Ya Head Up. It’s almost time for August recess. With the Senate GOP’s failed healthcare vote last week, House lawmakers saw no reason to stick around and have already departed for summer vacation. Although Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell postponed recess for two weeks…


Treasury Ends myRA Program. On July 28, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced that it will begin to wind down the myRA program after it was found not to be cost effective. According to a press release by the Treasury Department, demand for and investment in the program…

Treasury Delays Key Regulations Under Section 385. On July 28, the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department issued Notice 2017-36, which delays the documentation requirements of earning-stripping regulations for an additional year…



  1. The House passed, 235-192, the “minibus” spending package (H.R. 3219) that contains four House appropriations bills for fiscal year 2018: (1) Defense, (2) Legislative Branch, (3) Energy-Water, and (4) Milcon-VA.


Congressional Activity

Tuesday, 8/1

Senate Finance Committee
Full committee hearing on “America’s Affordable Housing Crisis: Challenges and Solutions.”

Wednesday, 8/2

Senate Small Business Committee
Markup of six bills:

  • S. 154, the “Small Business Relief from Disease Induced Economic Hardship Act”
  • S. 650, the “Support Small Business R&D Act of 2017”
  • S. 690, the “HUBZone Investment Protection Act”
  • S. 929, the “Invest in Rural Small Business Act of 2017”
  • S. 1038, to require the Administrator of the Small Business Administration to submit to Congress a report on the utilization of small businesses with respect to certain Federal contracts
  • S. 1428, the “Small Business Cyber Training Act of 2017.”

Thursday, 8/3

Senate Finance Committee
Nomination hearing for the following:

  • Gilbert B. Kaplan to be Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade
  • Matthew Bassett to be an Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services

Agency Activity

Thursday, 8/3

Internal Revenue Service
An open meeting of the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Taxpayer Communications Project Committee will be conducted. The Taxpayer Advocacy Panel is soliciting public comments, ideas, and suggestions on improving customer service at the Internal Revenue Service. Due to limited conference lines, notification of intent to participate must be made by phone.

Other Activity

Wednesday, 8/2

Freedom Partners and Americans for Prosperity
The Freedom Partners and Americans for Prosperity will host a tax reform discussion with Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC).

For listings of all the week’s tax and financial services happenings, read below to find out how you can become a subscriber.

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